In the News
- “The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing the World of Business”
- “Is Philosophy the Most Practical Major?”
- “Why Study Philosophy? ‘To Challenge Your Own Point of View'”
- “In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Examined Life”
- “Philosophy is Back in Business”
- “Why Philosophy Has Been Central to Legal Education for More Than a Century”
The following websites provide a variety of interesting information about the value of an undergraduate degree in philosophy:
- What Philosophy Can Do for You
Professor Tomas Bogardus (Pepperdine) has put together a useful site.
- The Philosophy Major
Published by the American Philosophical Association, this brief pamphlet tells you about what philosophy is, different kinds of degree programs, and the value of philosophy. (hosted by the APA)
- Philosophy Majors do better on Standardized Tests
A detailed study of how philosophy majors perform better than any other major on the verbal portion of the GRE, higher than any other humanities major on the LSAT, and outperform business majors by 15% and every other major except mathematics on the GMAT. (hosted by Williamette University) Philosophy Majors score highest on revised GRE
- Philosophy Majors and High-Paying Jobs
PayScale.com’s current data on Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary lists starting median salary and mid-career (15.5 years after graduation) median salary for 50 different university majors. Of the fifty, the philosophy major ranks sixteenth in mid-career median salary. For many majors where the starting median salary is slightly higher than in philosophy, the mid-career median salary of philosophy majors is considerably higher. For example, the median starting salary for a Business Management major is $3,100 higher than the median starting salary for a Philosophy major – $43,000 vs $39,900. But the mid-career median salary for Philosophy majors is $9,100 higher – $81,200 vs $72,100.
- Some Thoughts on Philosophy by John Cleese
Commissioned by the American Philosophical Association, these short audio files address the usefulness of philosophy to society.
- Philosophy and the Law
A testimonial from a practicing attorney (and former philosophy major) that the study of philosophy is the best foundation for a career in the law.
- Philosophy and Business
A testimonial from a former philosophy student, now a captain of industry.
- Philosophy and Technology
A computer whiz kid, now working for Google, on why you should get a philosophy degree.
- Giving Employers What They Really Want
Find out what employers are looking for.
- IQ Estimates by College Major
Philosophy majors rank very high in terms of average SAT scores and average IQ.
Graduate School in Philosophy
“The APA has released its 2013 Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy, and Andrew Carson at Philosophy News helpfully breaks down the information in a couple of reports, one on degrees awarded and time to degree, the other on attrition and placement. A few things to note: participation in the guide was voluntary and some schools did not participate, the data is self-reported and has not been independently verified, and it covers the years 2008-2013. Some of the data:
- A total of 1544 students graduated from/left these programs from 2008-2013.This total is comprised of 71% men, 26% women, and 3% other.
- The average attrition percentage for a school is 17%; the average completion percentage is 83%.
- The average time to complete a PhD in philosophy is about 7 years.
- Across all schools, men and women both have an average attrition rate of 17%; men and women both have an average completion rate of 83% [though Philosophy News goes on to say this: “The average in school difference in attrition is 3% higher for women.”
- The average school has 44% Non Tenure Track placements, 43% Tenure Track placements, 9% Unplaced placements, and 4% Unknown placements.
- Across all schools, 40% of men are placed into Tenure Track positions and 53% of women are placed into Tenure Track positions.
Lots more data at the links above.
Drafted by faculty at one of the top graduate programs in philosophy in the U.S., this guide provides students an excellent insight into the realities of the choice to pursue graduate education in philosophy and raises many helpful questions for students to consider at the outset. The following articles are provided on the Rutgers New Brunswick website as resources explained in the context of their 2009 guide and provide students the perspectives of grad students and faculty in philosophy and other academic disciplines.
“Most of us who work on Philosophy News have a degree in philosophy, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. However, most of us are not in academia anymore. Here are some stories about those of us who left professional philosophy and academia for careers in other fields. At the end are some tips for how to prepare for these careers while you are studying philosophy, since you ultimately may decide not to pursue philosophy professionally or work in academia. Also, be sure to check out our popular Placement Reports for more information as you think about pursuing full-time work in philosophy.”
“We offer this analysis of placements from MA programs in philosophy in an effort to place some data behind the assertions made by various programs and to provide some guidance (and comfort) to students pursuing an MA. Which MA programs are the best at getting students into good PhD programs? Do most MA students go on to study philosophy? What do students do after their MA if they do not go into academic philosophy? This is what we wanted to find out.”