Why Study Philosophy?
There are many good reasons to study philosophy. Because of its breadth, philosophy has a bearing on just about every subject and profession, and recent studies have shown that students who have strong backgrounds in the liberal arts in general and philosophy in particular do much better than one might expect in the job market and when pursuing advanced degrees.
In fact, among college graduates with no further training beyond a bachelor’s degree, philosophy majors earn higher average salaries by mid-career than all other humanities and social sciences majors except economics, and than most technical and vocational majors as well. Here’s a link to the evidence (click twice at the top of the Mid-Career Median Salary column to sort from high to low):http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-Degrees_that_Pay_you_Back-sort.html
Interested in pursuing graduate work? Here’s some more data to consider:
- GRE Scores: philosophy majors rank 1st in both analytical and verbal reasoning; and 16th in quantitative reasoning (above all non-science/non-math majors) http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/blog/index.cfm?postid=5112019841346388353
- LSAT Scores: philosophy majors are tied with Economics for first place http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apaonline.org/resource/resmgr/Data_on_Profession/Philosophy_performance_on_LS.pdf
- GMAT Scores: philosophy majors rank fifth (behind Physics, Math, Computer Science and Engineering, and ahead of all business school degrees) http://www.f1gmat.com/mean-gmat-score-undergraduate-degree#
The Death of Socrates - Jacques-Louis David (1787)
Proof that a career in philosophy has its risks
(Courtesy CGFA - A Virtual Art Museum)