Learn more about why to study Philosophy
Philosophy is uniquely well-suited to preparing students for law, business and graduate school.
Philosophy's lessons of analytical thinking, clear expression, and good writing are indispensable to the graduate student in any discipline, including law and business.
According to a study of LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) published in 1998:1
- the mean LSAT for Philosophy majors is higher than it is for both Political Science and Pre-Law majors!
- the mean LSAT score for Philosophy majors is the highest for all majors except physics and math!
According to a study of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores from 1988-19912, philosophy majors had:
- the highest mean verbal score of students in all majors.
- the second highest mean analytic score of students in all majors.
- a higher mean quantitative score than all other humanities and social science majors.
For administrations of the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) from 1991-19961,
- The mean score is higher for Philosophy majors than for any type of Business major -- including Accounting, Finance, and Management.
- Outside of the hard sciences, Philosophy has had either the first or second highest mean score each year.
- Including the hard sciences, the mean GMAT score for Philosophy majors is fourth or fifth highest of all majors.
1. Nieswiadomy, Michael, "LSAT Scores of Economics Majors," Journal of Economic Education (Fall 1998): 377-379. Statistics online athttp://www.people.vcu.edu/%7Eemillner/Economics/lsat.htm.
2. University of Idaho Department of Philosophy. https://www.uidaho.edu/class/philosophy/what-you-can-do
Articles and Opinions
"Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities"
Harvard Business Review, March 31, 2011. As Amos Shapira, the CEO of Cellcom, the leading cell phone provider in Israel, put it: "The knowledge I use as CEO can be acquired in two weeks...The main thing a student needs to be taught is how to study and analyze things (including) history and philosophy."
"Philosophy is Back in Business"
BusinessWeek, January 12, 2010. The financial and climate crises, global consumption habits, and other 21st-century challenges call for a "killer app." I think I've found it: philosophy.
"Finding Equality Through Logic"
National Public Radio's This I Believe, August 3, 2008. "Philosophy gave me permission to use my mind and the inspiration to aim high in my goals for myself. Philosophy allowed me to dare to imagine a world in which man can reason his way to justice, women can choose their life's course, and the poor can lift themselves out of the gutter. Philosophy taught me that logic makes equals of us all."
"In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined"
New York Times, April 6, 2008. "[P]hilosophy is being embraced at Rutgers and other universities by a new generation of college students who are drawing modern-day lessons from the age-old discipline as they try to make sense of their world, from the morality of the war in Iraq to the latest political scandal..."
"I Think, Therefore I Earn"
The Guardian, November 20, 2007. "Lucy Adams, human resources director of Serco, a services business and a consultancy firm, says: 'Philosophy lies at the heart of our approach to recruiting and developing our leadership, and our leaders. We need people who have the ability to look for different approaches and take an open mind to issues. These skills are promoted by philosophical approaches.' ..."
Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life and Work
New York Times, December 26, 1997. "What can you do with a philosophy degree? In an age of M.B.A.'s and computer scientists, more than 4,000 American college students graduate each year with a bachelor's degree in the ancient discipline. Sometimes their parents and friends wonder what will happen to them. ..."
Philosophy Among Best-Paying Undergrad Degrees
A Non-Academic Career? Information, Resources, and Background on Options for Philosophers
American Philosophical Association. "[T]hese are absolutely fundamental abilities, applicable to pretty much any kind of work at all. A person who has the philosopher's skills and talents, as well as whatever other training and abilities are required, is to a very great extent that much better fitted to succeed in a career outside of the academy."
How Does Philosophy Relate to My Career?
Wilfrid Laurier University. "People today often emphasize 'marketability' when they talk about a university education. ... If marketability means learning what will make you an attractive candidate for employment, then philosophy has a great deal to offer. ..."
What Can I Do with a Humanities Degree?
University of Central Florida. "Probably the most common question prospective humanities majors ask is 'What good is a humanities degree? I really enjoy what I am studying, but I need to be concerned about getting a job. What can I do with a humanities degree?' This question looks like one question, but it really disguises several related ones. Distinguishing them will allow us to answer each of them more clearly..."
Why Study Philosophy?
University of North Texas. "In recent years, ... such papers as The New York Times have been proclaiming the rediscovery of the philosophy major. Major employers of university graduates are finding that philosophy majors have finely honed analytic skills and problem solving abilities that make them extremely effective in a variety of professional careers...."
Will Your Philosophy Degree Get You a Job? Studying Philosophy as Part of a Non-Academic Career
Australasian Association of Philosophy. "Unlike medicine, law or veterinary science, philosophy is not a vocational degree ? it does not provide automatic entry into specific professions in the non-academic workforce. But your philosophy degree can still be of great benefit when joining the workforce. Studying philosophy will have provided you with an advanced level of generic skills that are immensely useful in a wide range of jobs, in such diverse fields...."