Is philosophy an interesting class to round out a college schedule or is it something more? Is it a good choice for a major? Here are three reasons why you should consider studying philosophy:
1. Philosophy majors do well on graduate school entrance exams and placement
If you are interested in going on to graduate school of any kind then you may want to study some philosophy. Philosophy majors are accepted into med schools at a higher rate than biology majors, with over 50 percent of philosophy majors being accepted (compared to 39 percent of biology majors). On average, they score higher than business majors on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test for management programs such as an MBA). They are also the second highest scoring major on the LSAT exam for law school admission. If it is a future in academics that you want, philosophy majors, on average, also score higher than every other major in the verbal reasoning and analytical writing section of the GRE.
No matter what you are interested in pursuing in graduate school, studying philosophy can help you get there.
2. Philosophy majors do well in the job market without going on to graduate school
Starting salaries for philosophy majors who only have a bachelor's degree may be on the lower side, averaging around $39,000, but their salaries see a higher percentage increase by mid-career than almost every other major. By mid-career, the average salary has jumped to $81,000, a higher median salary than that of students who majored in accounting, business management, chemistry, criminal justice, marketing and psychology.
While often seen as impractical, philosophy may actually be one of the most practical majors. Philosophy teaches critical thinking, problem-solving, and oral and written communication. These are skills that are useful and sought after in virtually every industry. Philosophy majors go on to do all kinds of things in just about every field, from tech to Wall Street, to Hollywood to politics. There are philosophy majors all around us, from Southern Utah University President Scott Wyatt to George Soros, Peter Thiel and many others. The sky's the limit to what you can do with a philosophy degree.
3. The study of philosophy is valuable in itself
Socrates famously said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Above all, what philosophy offers is the tools to understand and evaluate the world around you and to examine the meaning of life, the universe, everything.
“There are those who consider the study of philosophy to be impractical, but I think that this is misguided,” said Kris Phillips, assistant professor of philosophy at SUU. “Philosophy, as a discipline, is ultimately aimed at understanding ourselves, the world around us, and how we best fit into such a world. In short, it is a study aimed at understanding existence with an eye toward what it means to live well; that's both practical and something we almost certainly all want."
Whether you want to be a philosophy major/minor, or you just want to learn more about philosophy while fulfilling a GE requirement (humanities knowledge area), check out the philosophy program today.