Why Major in Philosophy?
There are many different reasons for majoring in philosophy, but one important benefit is that it helps to develop important skills like critical thinking, critical reading, analytic writing, and effective speaking. All majors help you develop these abilities, of course. But the philosophy major does an exceptionally good job of it. For some data backing up this point, and for further benefits of majoring in philosophy, see the following links:
- A statement from the American Philosophcial Association on the value of philosophy.
- An essay on the the value of a humanities degree.
- An article from The New York Times.
- An article from The Guardian.
- An article from Buisness Week.
- A table from The Wall Street Journal showing the average salary increase by major. (Note that philosophy is tied for first under "percent change from starting to mid-career salary".)
- A table laying out average GRE scores by major. Note that philosophy majors have
- the highest average verbal reasoning score among all majors
- the highest average analytical writing score among all majors
- the highest average quantitative reasoning score among humanities majors.
- Some scatter plots further illustrating the GRE scores of philosophy majors as compared to other majors. (These plots really bring the data home; you should study them carefully.)
- A table showing average LSAT scores by popular pre-law majors.
- A table showing average GMAT scores by major.
These links illustrate some of the many benefits to studying philosophy. Of course, the philosophy major isn't for everyone. Like any area of study, it comes with its own special set of challenges. Those who are interested in finding out more about philosophy are encouraged to speak to the philosophy faculty and also to make use of the career services center on campus, which is the core WWU resource for planning your career. Go there early and often--you'll thank yourself later.