One of the most crucial decisions you make in getting your college degree is choosing what to major in. Most times, the major you choose pressures you as it will somehow affect which job you are getting after.
Some may take STEM majors if they’re interested in science, technology, engineering, or math. And if you like studying humanities, or if you have a love for wisdom, which is what philosophy translates to, you may ask yourself, “Is a philosophy major useless?”
Philosophy as a Subject
Philosophy has been around since the emergence of Western civilization. Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, are among the many names you may associate with the subject.
There are different kinds of philosophy, but essentially it studies general and fundamental questions like those of existence, reason, knowledge, mind, language, and values. Back in the 19th century, philosophy was a vast subject encompassing medicine, astronomy, and physics.
But in the late 19h century, philosophy had professionalization and specialization due to the growth of research universities. Today, we have social sciences like psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics as separate disciplines that were traditionally a part of philosophy.
And we have the major subfields of academic philosophy, including metaphysics concerning existence and reality, epistemology studying knowledge and belief, ethics with moral value, and logic with rules of inference allowing you to conclude.
Philosophy as a Major
Picking philosophy as a major may not be the best option for many. But for a student who understands and has an interest in the subject, philosophy is not a useless major.
In fact, it is a respectable academic subject, allowing you to expand intellectually and choose from a wide range of careers in the job market.
In studying philosophy, you develop your information management skill to help boost productivity in many areas of your life. Philosophical thinking enhances your creativity in imagination and your mental dexterity.
This field requires you to analyze, question, and contend in different perspectives while conducting thorough research and accessing relevant information. Critical thinking skills are a must-have in this field. The analytical skill of your mind will help you better understand difficult concepts, interpret other interesting ideas and solve complex matters.
Career and Job Opportunity
Getting the right degree for yourself will surely jumpstart your career, and contrary to what others believe, you can have a great career when you major in philosophy. You can use your degree or philosophy major in entering different professions like teaching, business and law.
With a philosophy master’s degree, you can become an instructor at a college or university. Or, if you have a bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license, you can also teach elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Additional training as a paralegal on top of your philosophy major will help you pursue law. If you plan on becoming a lawyer, enrolling in law school would be your option.
The skills you develop in philosophy will help you become a persuasive attorney who can be a well-spoken problem solver with excellent analytical and communication skills.
Mental Health Counselor
Working to help treat mental health problems and illnesses is one job a philosophy major can pursue. You are used to talking over heavy matters and life’s biggest questions, making you a good fit for the role.
With a major in philosophy, you understand the culture, society, and human interpretation, helping you excel in a job as a marketing professional. Your strong analytical skills will also be beneficial in a finance job.
Why You Should Major in Philosophy
Besides being interested in the field, there are many surprising reasons why you should major in philosophy.
For the Fundamentals
In studying philosophy, you ask all kinds of questions, searching for truth and wisdom regarding the most critical issues. But sometimes, asking the right questions proves to be more important than the answer.
And in philosophy, your job is to learn how to ask the best questions and challenge your personal opinions.
Liberal Arts Education
Philosophy teaches you to think independently and critically and communicate effectively, whether written or verbal. In studying the subject, you will acquire a broad general knowledge of different issues, which is what liberal education is about.
When applying for a job, employers usually have a list of criteria to filter their potential employees. And this list comprises skills and qualities you acquire when you study Philosophy as your major. Employers will love how you think independently and focus on solving the problem with your creative mind.
When it comes to the job market, philosophy usually does not have a good reputation. But little do you know, the skills you gain during your study will set you up for your future career. Developing critical thinking, organization, adaptability, excellent communication, and listening skills will benefit you in most, if not all, jobs.
Thinking that philosophy is nothing technical, you think that philosophy majors receive less income than other majors. But surprisingly, a survey proves that philosophy majors receive more as you reach your mid-career, probably even higher than architecture, political science, and accounting.
If you are interested in pursuing graduate school, law school, med school, or getting an MBA, taking a philosophy major will help you get in. It shows that those with philosophy as an undergraduate major do very well on graduate admission tests like GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT.
Being a field that has been around for ages, philosophy is an all-around field. There is not one place on earth that does not make use or need a philosopher or two. Philosophy is an established discipline that you can find good degrees in most places in the world.
So, if you plan to major in philosophy, you can find many good schools on your list.
Philosophy is surprisingly a good major for your degree. And if you’re still questioning yourself whether philosophy is worth it or not, maybe you should define what the term “worth” means to you.
Are you taking the major for monetary worth, intellectual worth, spiritual worth, or personal-growth worth? And whichever you decide, I’m sure philosophy will still prove to be helpful to you. That’s just how philosophy works.