Philosophy: What Kind of Jobs?

Image Caption

Thinking of going on to law school, business school, or grad school in the humanities?

According to 2005-2006 statistics from the Educational Testing Service, philosophy majors came in at #1 on a list of 50 majors for both the verbal reasoning and analytic writing portions of the GRE.

According to statistics printed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, philosopher majors scored the highest of all majors except mathematics on the GMAT and the highest of all majors except mathematics and economics on the LSAT.

On the GMAT, philosophy majors scored 15% higher than business majors.

Philosophy majors can opt for a successful career in law, business, or some other area of the humanities.

Want a degree that pays off in life and in work?

An informal survey by the New York Times of philosophy majors who graduated in 1977 concluded that while some of them were earning less than $30,000 a year twenty years later, "more common are incomes of $50,000 or $60,000, and a few earn more than $200,000." (Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work, 12/26/97). For more information Check out PayScale for the Best Undergrad College Degrees by salary.

Looking for a major that will put you on the cutting edge of a global society?

According to an article earlier this year in the New York Times ("In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined," 4/6/2008), the number of philosophy majors at many larger schools including Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Texas A & M has doubled in the last decade.

The article cites the growing belief among undergraduates "that studying philosophy, with its emphasis on the big questions and alternative points of view, provided good training for looking at larger societal questions, like globalization and technology."

Hope to distinguish yourself from your peers?

Jordan Kotick, now a Vice-President at J.P. Morgan, says the following:

"To make a long story short, of late, I have been pursuing a top job at one of the leading investment banks in the world. This position was 'short listed' to 150 people as interviews went on concurrently in various countries around the globe. At the end of the process, I received the offer and am now working in New York as a Senior Strategist at one of Wall Street's leading firms. After accepting the offer, I asked the Board, who ultimately made the final decision, why I was chosen above the others. Without blinking an eye, the Head of the Strategic Hiring Committee stated a list of reasons, the very first of which was 'Out of all the people we considered, you were the only one who studied Philosophy, not to mention having a Masters Degree in it. That told us immediately that you can think outside the box.' I have come to realize the answer to the question perpetually posed, ‘Philosophy? What are you going to with that?' The correct response is ‘Absolutely anything you want.'"

To see why ESU provides an especially good program, see "Why Study Philosophy at ESU?"