Philosophy Major Café: Why Major in Philosophy?

8 March 2017 (Wed), 4.30-6pm
At Cendana Student Commons

The Dollars and Sense Behind Majoring in Philosophy

What I’m finding lacking is getting people who can problem-solve. Critical thinking, as well as being able to communicate, is the most important thing we’re looking for.”

–Joanna Flint (politics and philosophy major), Google’s Singapore country director

“Studying philosophy taught me two things. I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings.”

–Stewart Butterfield, Co-founder of Flickr and CEO of Slack


Thanks to PPT1 and 2, you all know your Mengzi and Xunzi, your Plato and Aristotle, your Santideva and Annambhatta. But did you know that philosophy majors in the U.S.


  • have higher mid-career salaries than chemistry, political science, and business majors?
  • are tied with math majors for the largest increase between starting and mid-career salaries?
  • score higher than any other major on the Verbal and Analytical Writing sections of the GRE (U.S. graduate school admissions test), and on the LSAT (U.S. law school admissions test)?
  • score higher than any non-STEM major on the Quantitative section of the GRE, and on the GMAT (U.S. business school admissions test)?


That’s right. Behold…the Power of Philosophy:

PHI Stats 170227

So, you should major in philosophy if…


  • You want to go into BUSINESS
  • You want to go into TECH
    • That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket (Forbes)
    • How Your Philosophy Degree Can Be Relevant to Tech Startup Success (Fast Company)
  • You want to go into MEDICINE
    • A Harvard Medical School Professor Makes the Case for the Liberal Arts and Philosophy (Washington Post)
  • You want to go into JOURNALISM
    • Be Employable, Study Philosophy (Salon)
  • You want to go into ENGINEERING
  • You want to go into LAW


…and, of course, if you want to think!


And if you’re just worried about convincing your parents, we’ve got some more links!