What Can You Do with a Philosophy Degree?
People who study philosophy go on to do all sorts of things. They are artists and entertainers (e.g., Lana Del Ray, Ricky Gervais, Matt Groening), business people (e.g., Damon Horowitz, Larry Sanger, Peter Theil), government leaders (e.g. Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, David Souter), journalists (e.g., Chris Hayes, Tamar Keith, Stone Phillips), activists (e.g., Rev. Martin Luther King, Angela Davis), athletes (Arian Forster, Bruce Lee), writers (e.g., Mary Higgins Clark, Umberto Eco, Ayn Rand, David Foster Wallace), and more!
Students who study philosophy at Austin College are similarly diverse. They become lawyers, artists, business owners and entrepreneurs, nonprofit administrators, medical professionals, and professors, among other things.
When considering a job opening, philosophy majors look beyond the job description and consider the nature of the work required. Philosophy does not need to be mentioned in a job description for the skills that studying it builds to be valuable.
How Studying Philosophy Prepares You for a Variety of Careers
Studying philosophy builds skills that are useful in a wide range of professions. These skills include the abilities to assess complex ideas, analyze and construct arguments, solve problems, and communicate clearly and persuasively. Want more details?
Studying philosophy also provides you with valuable knowledge for negotiating complex and changing work environments. For example, appreciating the nature and limits of what we can know or have good reason to believe, and understanding how to address complicated moral issues from multiple perspectives, will serve you well in all kinds of settings.
But don’t take our word for it!
- How philosopher majors fare on the GRE and LSAT.
- What many employers report.
- What a journalist has to say.
- What a Harvard medical professor thinks.
- The view of The Critical Thinker Academy.
- The position of the American Philosophical Association.
- Still skeptical? Take a look at all these individuals who studied philosophy and have (or had) a career in …
Meet the Faculty:
Philosophy at its best is an on-going conversation. It is as much an activity or practice as it is a treasure chest of interesting ideas and valuable information. The courses that I teach explore life’s big questions along the lines just sketched. Great minds from the past give us our starting points. We study what important recent thinkers have added to the discussion, and we extend the conversation by joining it ourselves. This approach works well with just about every subject that I teach.
Mark Hebert has been a member of the Austin College faculty since 1990. His areas of interest are ethics, happiness and meaning, feminist thought, and philosophy of law. Watch his TEDxaustincollege talk on YouTube.
He can also rebuild nearly any small horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine (largely because he has significant experience ruining them).
After Austin College
Devin Gonier is the Chief Technology Officer at WageUp, a startup specializing in developing bespoke cutting-edge platforms that leverage machine learning tools to manage performance and gamify the everyday work experience. He is also completing his master’s degree at Columbia University in Machine Learning and has an undergraduate degree from Austin College in Philosophy and… [Read More]
I can’t imagine a better place to receive a liberal arts education than Austin College. I was always planning to be a history major. But Hunt Tooley’s classes were so intellectually inspiring that I started reading some philosophy. Part way through my junior year, I realized that I wanted to major in philosophy, too. The… [Read More]
Upon graduating from Austin College in 2007 with majors in psychology and philosophy, I completed a Master’s (2010) and a Doctoral degree (2012) in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the University of South Florida. While in graduate school, I conducted research for public and private companies including as a fellow at RAND, Corp. Driven by a passion… [Read More]
Majors: History & Philosophy J.D., Harvard University Attorney, Mosaic Family Services Alison worked as a clerk in the Alaska Supreme Court before becoming a public defender in Alaska. From there, she was a Special Project Attorney for Disability Rights Texas. She is currently a staff attorney for Mosaic Family Services, which provides legal services in… [Read More]
Links of Interest
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias:
Thinking, Reading, and Writing:
- Thinking: Fallacy Files
- Reading: Jim Pryor’s Guidelines
- Writing: Peter Horban’s Guidelines
Jim Pryor’s Guidelines
Just for Fun: