Categories: Guides by Industry & MajorPhilosophy

What is a Philosophy Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you like questioning the world around you? Do you like spending hours and hours using logic to reason your way through a problem? If so, majoring in philosophy may be for you.

What is a Philosophy Major?

Contrary to popular belief, majoring in philosophy isn’t about simply sitting on a rock and pondering life’s greatest questions. You will be tackling many broad and abstract questions and using logic and ethics to sort through them but finding a solution isn’t necessarily the endgame. Philosophy majors spend a great deal of their time reading, writing and talking about their ideas, typically in smaller class settings.

What classes do philosophy majors actually take? It depends on your college’s program, but some basic classes involve logic, ethics, metaphysics, political theory, sociology and anthropology.

Is it right for me?

Before you declare yourself a philosophy major, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I a strong reader and writer? Do I enjoy reading complicated texts and communicating my thoughts and opinions?
  • Am I willing to work on a complex problem until I think of potential solutions, or do I get frustrated easily?
  • Do I handle criticism and feedback from peers and professionals well?
  • Do I like small classroom settings where I’m required to talk several times during each class, engaging in intense discussion throughout?

What can I do with a philosophy degree?

Majoring in philosophy can actually open doors to many other careers. Very few philosophy majors become “philosophers,” but other career paths include:

The overarching theme, however, is that a philosophy major sets people up to tackle big problems and troubleshoot solutions.

What do people who majored in philosophy earn?

While your career trajectory could differ greatly, a recent study found that philosophy majors earn an average of $82,000 when they’re 10-20 years out of college.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Philosophy Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as When to Start Applying for a Summer Internship.

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