Many of the questions and concerns that we call “philosophical” have arisen in nearly every age and culture. Confronting those questions and concerns has occupied some of the best minds of those ages. By spending a significant amount of time engaging with their answers, and by developing and refining your own questions and answers, you can progress toward a rich and subtle understanding of the world and your place in it.
However, in addition to providing a solid understanding of others’ views, and perhaps a deeper appreciation of your own, a major in philosophy has other benefits. The serious study of philosophy can develop virtues such as courage, charity, and thoughtfulness, and strong skills in reasoning, analysis, and oral and written communication. Such virtues and skills will serve you well in a variety of paths – not just “careers” – after Guilford. Your choice of a major should not rest solely or primarily on a prediction of how lucrative a certain major is (or isn’t) likely to be. Philosophy, like most other disciplines in the humanities, can prepare you quite well for a variety of occupations, some perhaps more lucrative than others.
One very good source of information on potential career opportunities for the philosophy major can be found at the American Philosophical Association.
“That the study of philosophy is especially effective in enhancing academic skills is suggested by the fact that philosophy majors, as a group, receive exceptionally high scores on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test), the GMAT (the admissions test for MBA programs), and the GRE (Graduate Record Exam).” Source - http://liberalarts.iupui.edu/philosophy/
What do philosophy majors do after college?
Guilford philosophy majors have gone on to become philosophy professors, lawyers, bank administrators, ministers, computer programmers, social workers, academic administrators, building contractors, musicians and MBAs.
Many have pursued graduate work in a wide range of fields, including library and information science, environmental studies and political science. A number of double majors have pursued graduate degree programs associated with their other major, and report that their philosophy major enhanced their work in those programs, including psychology, science, technology and society, dramatic arts and creative writing, to name only a few.
Well-known philosophy majors
Include U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Bennett (former Secretary of Education), mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark, social activist and political philosopher Angela Davis, film director Peter Lynch, novelist and MacArthur prize recipients Rebecca Goldstein and David Foster Wallace, TWA CEO Carl Icahn, former Secretary of Defense and World Bank Director Robert MacNamara, TV movie critic Gene Siskel, and Supreme Court Justice David Souter.