So your child wants to become a philosophy major. Many questions are probably going through your mind, such as: what kind of education will my child receive? How well do philosophy majors perform on standardized tests? What types of skills will my child learn to set them up for a career, and most importantly, what careers will even be available to him or her? The Association of American Colleges and Universities published a study that reveals the majority of employers look for skills and qualities one learns through a philosophical education. We have also quickly sketched specific careers philosophy majors can pursue, listed below. (This list is certainly not complete; opportunities for philosophy majors are much more vast and wide-ranging.)
Careers and jobs that philosophy majors can do!
Teaching. Philosophy majors develop oral and written communication skills as well as a solid understanding of learning itself, an awareness characteristic of highly effective teachers. Philosophy majors are not destined to teach solely on subjects of philosophy, but acquire the skills necessary to teach an array of topics including, but not limited to: high school education, English, Social Science, Political Science, and Law.
Executive-level administration and management. Many Fortune 500 CEOs have degrees in liberal arts majors like philosophy because these majors develop your interpersonal communication and organization.
Law. Many lawyers got their undergraduate training in philosophy because the skills involved in reading and thinking clearly and arguing effectively apply to brief-writing as well as litigation techniques. Courses such as Language and Logic, Introduction to Ethics, Business Ethics and Biomedical Ethics will be especially helpful for you. Philosophy and Law are closely intertwined fields, something that Boston College especially recognizes.
Ethics and social & political philosophy. Nonprofit organizations and governmental organizations hire philosophy majors for their experience developing policies to protect and represent the environment, the arts, education, health, the sciences and culture. The Red Cross, the World Health Organization, Greenpeace, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation are just a few examples.
Computer programming. Software creation, ontological engineering, axiomatizing, language development and systems engineering are among the computer-related careers enjoyed by philosophy majors. Cycorp is one of many software companies that routinely hires philosophy majors! Cycorp does programming in a way that uses common-sense logic. Their system is called Cyc® technology, and it is rooted in the logical thinking that philosophy classes in logic and argumentation study: semantic information retrieval, consistency-checking of structured information, deductive integration of databases, and natural language interfaces that relate to how people express themselves in an everyday sense.
Technical writing. This is one of the biggest growth areas for majors in philosophy, philosophy of science, and ethics. Technical writers can demand starting salaries averaging $37,000 in today's market.
Creative writing. Philosophy and logic/argumentation can prepare you for a career as a novelist nonfiction writer or a poet.
Public relations and journalism. PR and journalism both require a careful use of language, something philosophy majors learn quickly. MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow dedicates her skills in journalism to learning history, philosophy, and the importance of the liberal arts.
Editing and publishing. These fields require a strong facility with language, combined with the communication skills philosophy majors develop. This article, written by the Director at Pennsylvania State University Press, attests to the success philosophy majors may achieve in copyediting, editorial, and publishing careers.
Mediation. Philosophy majors' skills at communicating and analyzing all sides of issues make them ideal mediators (for example, mediators are used in divorce cases, or to settle disputes between unions and corporations).
Philosophical counseling/philosophical practice. Did you know that not all counselors and therapists study psychology? The American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA) trains and certifies philosophy majors to do work similar to psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and is now beginning to build and accredit graduate programs in philosophical practice. The City College of New York has approved the establishment of an MA Program in Applied Philosophy, whose graduates will also be APPA-Certified. Similar initiatives are underway internationally. The APPA's Web site is http://www.appa.edu/.
Aesthetics. Philosophy prepares you to be an archivist, curator, or museum manager. The philosophy major's appreciation for aesthetic taste, as well as organizational skills, means you have the right balance for a career in these art management fields!