Philosophy is a subject that remains a mystery to many. Few understand what philosophy is, let alone what an education in the subject entails. But for those who find Plato’s Apology and Immanuel Kant’s moral concept — the Categorical Imperative — intriguing, a degree in anything other than philosophy is blaspheme. Nevertheless, even passionate, aspiring philosophers may question whether seeking a professional degree in it is pragmatic; after all, everyone says that a career in teaching is the only plausible career path for philosophy graduates. Now, it’s not that teaching philosophy is a bad gig. It’s just that for some, teaching simply does not suit them. Regardless, this is a widely believed misconception when in fact, the skills developed by philosophy majors leave them highly qualified and marketable in the job market. Still not a believer? Check out these other careers your philosophy major can lead to:
- Writer/Editor. Philosophy course work entails reading dense, complicated materials, conducting extensive research, and writing numerous detailed research papers. This means philosophy students have to develop the skills that will enable them to succeed in their degree program. Graduates are also highly capable of articulating intricate concepts in ways that general audiences can easily understand. These activities leave philosophy students with highly adept reading, writing, and editing skills. As such, many times graduates can become journalists, writers, and editors.
- Lawyer. Law is another field riddled with philosophy students. A philosophical education requires students to not only read and interpret complex materials, but perform in-depth analyses of them. Students must think outside-the-box to develop critiques of philosophical theories and arguments. In that, they cultivate advanced reading and critical analysis skills, as well as the ability to formulate logical arguments; all of these skills are essential in the law field. And not only does a philosophical education prepares students for law school, but students tend to also do better than average in law school. For instance, you must take the standardized exam known as the LSAT to be considered for law school admission because your score on this exam is a known indication of how well or poor you’ll do your first year of law school. According to a 2009 study on LSAT performance, titled LSAT Scores of Economics Majors: The 2008-2009 Class Update, economics and philosophy majors tied at first for majors that scored the highest on the LSAT.
- Financial Analyst. It seems odd, doesn’t it? What could philosophy have to do with business? Plenty, it turns out. A career in financial analysis requires professionals that are highly attentive to detail, can analyze past and present trends in the economy, and who can compile their analyses into logical reports that suggest profitable investments for individuals and businesses. In their studies, philosophy students obtain highly valuable interpretation and analytical skills. They are trained to look at a convoluted problem, understand it, analyze it logically, and identify its strengths and weaknesses. In that, philosophy students who obtain some business education or experience make for highly successful business analysts.
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