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.

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

Do you have a book on hand at all times? If you love reading literature classics and discussing them with others and you consider yourself a strong communicator, majoring in literature may be for you.

What is a literature major?

A literature major involves reading and analyzing works of literature. This means discussing texts and understanding their historical, cultural and literary significance. As a literature major, you’ll be responsible for understanding and explaining the impact of texts including poems, short stories and novels.

Is it right for me?

One of the biggest questions you probably have is how a literature major differs from the more widely-known English major. While it depends on the program you’re in, English majors typically take many more classes on a variety of different genres and mediums of writing, whereas literature majors (often called “comparative literature” majors) focus on literature from either a specific place or theme.

Regardless, both English and literature majors are extremely reading- and writing-intensive, and you’ll also have to discuss your ideas in all sorts of settings, from lecture halls to seminars.

  • Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you become a literature major:
  • Do I possess strong writing and reading skills? Am I able to push myself to read and write about books and other works that may not be of interest to me?
  • Am I comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings on various literature with professors and peers in both large and intimate settings?
  • Do I take constructive criticism and feedback well? Am I okay with both professors and peers critiquing my work and potentially disagreeing with my opinions or ideas?
  • Am I interested in most likely going abroad and studying in some of the places I’m reading about?
  • Am I ready and willing to take on a major capstone or thesis project towards the end of my college career?

What can I do with a literature degree?

Much like English majors, literature majors get a bad rap for studying something not transferrable to the real world, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Literature majors graduate with strong reading, writing, critical thinking and communication skills, all of which serve them well in a variety of fields.

There are a large number of career options for people with literature degrees, which include positions such as journalist, author, writer, marketer, public relations specialist, professor, copywriter, editor, technical writer, publisher and lawyer.

What do people who major in literature earn?

Salaries vary based on the career you pursue, but if you’re interested in going into some form of communications like journalism, marketing or public relations, starting salaries are usually in the $35,000-$45,000 range.


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

Do you like discussing and thinking about different belief systems and how they affect history, policy and society as a whole? If so, becoming a religion major might be for you. But before you dive in, here’s what you need to know about the major.

What is a religion major?

The most important thing to know is that a religion major is not reserved for people who want to become a religious leader or clergyman; rather, the major is typically much more secular and looks at religion as a whole as well as looking at particular types of religion. While many religious figures did study religion in college, that doesn’t mean the degree can’t be helpful for many other endeavors.

What sorts of classes do religion majors take? In addition to learning about particular religions themselves (like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam), students also take a more holistic approach by learning about the historical and sociological backgrounds of these religions. They may also take philosophy and anthropology classes to get a better understanding of how a certain religion came to be and what its current implications are.

Is It right for me?

Now that you know a little bit about the major, it’s time to ask yourself some key questions to see if it’d be a good fit for you:

  • Do I like learning about other cultures and religions, or just my own?
  • Am I open to taking courses in other departments that are linked to my major but not necessarily about religion?
  • Am I comfortable discussing my thoughts and feelings when talking about more controversial religion-related conversations?
  • Am I respectful of others when their opinions or ideas may not agree with mine?
  • Do I consider myself someone who is open-minded to seeing how other people and cultures live?

What can I do with a religion degree?

Aside from becoming a religious figure in a particular faith, there are plenty of other career tracks you can take as someone who graduated with a religion degree. Some of these potential career tracks include:

  • therapist
  • counselor
  • educator
  • professor
  • nonprofit worker
  • government official
  • lawyer
  • international businessperson
  • … and more

Additionally, it’s important to note that many religion majors pursue further education (like a Masters or Ph.D.) in addition to their Bachelor’s degree.

What do people who majored in religion earn?

Often religion majors end up working in a role related to a particular religion, or they do something related to aid and nonprofit work. Starting salaries in these types of fields often very but make $30,000-$45,000 to start. However, many people who major in religion go into fields where they make the world a better place, saying that that fact matters more than money.

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

What Types of Skills Are Best for a Philosophy Major?

Philosophy majors do a whole lot more besides sitting in a room and thinking big thoughts. It requires the ability to be a strong reader, clear and concise writer and so much more. What sorts of skills have the best philosophy majors mastered? Here are the top three skills you’ll need to succeed in this major.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Being good at “logic” is about knowing how to look at a problem and reason through it. Philosophy majors spend lots of time looking at big issues and slowing working their way through the problem to find a solution.

Even if the questions they’re tackling are broad and abstract, the best philosophy majors are those who are dedicated to solving the biggest problems the world has encountered. Even if you won’t actually get to work on those issues during your time in college, understanding how to sort through huge problems is a must.

Reading and writing skills

The philosophy major will challenge your reading abilities, especially because many of the texts you’ll be tackling will be older, very complicated and/or translated from a different language. Thus, the most successful philosophy majors are those who can read quickly and well while taking impeccable notes.

Additionally, philosophy majors must be able to communicate their thoughts in longer papers as well as shorter reading responses. To speak about complex arguments and issues, you’ll have to be able to articulate your arguments clearly and effectively.

Communication and public speaking skills

Philosophy classes tend to be small in nature, so to be a successful major, you’ll have to be comfortable with giving your thoughts out loud to a group of peers and professors constantly. You’ll have to be confident in your ideas while also being willing to hear from others. And because you’ll be speaking often, you’ll have to make sure you’re prepared before you head into class.

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

Wonder how social groups came to be and want to understand the forces affecting our culture today? A sociology major may be for you.

What is a sociology major?

The “official” definition for sociology is that it’s the study of institutions; however, that’s a pretty vague idea. To go more in-depth, sociology looks at how groups of people behave and how they interact with society as a whole.

In sociology classes, you’ll tackle broad social theory and general concepts of human behavior in your introductory classes before getting to study specific groups, places or units. For example, you may take a class on the sociology of the family, where you’ll talk about what it means to be part of a family unit both historically and in the present-day. Then, you’ll connect other topics to your discussions. For instance, how do laws regulating family planning change how families operate? If people are getting married later, how does that affect family structure?

What is the difference between sociology, psychology and anthropology?

Many people wonder what the difference is between psychology and sociology. While the two are definitely linked (and often students may double-major in both or major in one while minoring in the other), psychology focuses on the behavior of the individual, whereas sociology focuses on the behavior of groups.

People have similar questions about sociology versus anthropology. Anthropology studies the history of the behavior of humans, so there’s definitely an added component of what the past tells us about the present.

Is It right for me?

Before you take on a sociology major, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I a strong reader and writer? Do I look forward to reading and interpreting both original texts and the theories of others in the field?
  • Am I open-minded? How do I react if people in class make a statement or argument I don’t agree with?
  • Do I take criticism and feedback well? Will I be phased if a peer or professor disagrees with me?
  • Am I excited to do field work that requires me to spend many hours surveying a group of people, analyzing the data, and presenting it?
  • Am I willing to take on a longer research project, like a capstone or thesis?

What can I do with a sociology degree?

Some may be perplexed as to what can be done with a sociology degree, but by studying such a broad topic and also having the opportunity to concentrate, sociology majors are able to work in a variety of fields.

A small sampling of positions that sociology majors have gone on to include:

  • Professor
  • Community organizer
  • Educator
  • Activist
  • Politician
  • Political scientist
  • Non-profit aid worker
  • Social worker

What do people who majored in sociology earn?

While it certainly doesn’t apply to all sociology majors, many go into careers of public service or aid work, which means salaries won’t necessarily be high. Starting salaries range anywhere from $25,000-$40,000. However, many of these former sociology majors find their work meaningful and life-changing, which can mean even more than a paycheck.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Sociology Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Should I Intern as a College Freshman?

What is a Global Studies Major and is it Right for Me?

If you’re a huge fan of social sciences like political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and geography, becoming a global studies major may be for you. If you choose to take on this course of study, you’ll be examining, comparing and contrasting different cultures and the issues they face.

What is a global studies major?

A global studies major is a broad, interdisciplinary social science major. Your classes will cover subjects areas like economics, statistics, political science, history and geography, focusing in on specific cultures and issues within each of these broader categories.

Most global studies program also offer you the ability to concentrate on a particular culture or issue, especially during your last year or two in college. For example, you may broadly study women’s issues and then narrow your personal research focus to women’s issues in Southeast Asia.

Is it right for me?

  • Before committing to the major, here are some important questions to ask yourself.
  • Am I able and excited to learn a language (and possibly even multiple languages)?
  • Do I want to (and have the financial means to) go abroad? Am I excited to immerse myself in other cultures?
  • Do I like keeping up with current events and understanding how they fit with larger historical patterns?
  • Am I able to look at the big picture of different places as well as look at them on a more culture-specific level?
  • Would I be okay with dedicating my time to a long-term project, like a capstone or thesis

What can I do with a global studies degree?

The great thing about a global studies degree is that the knowledge base is broad and gives you the ability to pursue a variety of fields based on your other interests. Some of the careers you can get with a global studies major include:

  • journalist/correspondent
  • government official
  • politician
  • international businessperson
  • lawyer
  • salesperson
  • travel guide
  • nonprofit leader
  • diplomat
  • humanitarian worker
  • educator
  • … and more

What does someone who majored in global studies earn?

Because there are many career option for global studies majors, there’s no consensus on the salary range among majors in this group. For example, a humanitarian worker is likely to have a starting salary of $25,000-$30,000 while a government worker is much more likely to be in the $40,000-$50,000 range.

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

What Types of Skills Are Best for a Global Studies Major?

Because global studies majors are studying so many different social science disciplines, knowing how to best tackle such an interdisciplinary major can be tricky. Here are several key skills you’ll need to be able to stay on top of your work and get the most out of your major.

Reading skills

Typically social science classes tend to be much more reading-intensive than other majors, so you should expect to spend lots of your time reading during the week. Being a “good” reader isn’t just about actually opening a book; it’s knowing how to take great notes and really absorb what you’re learning.

Critical thinking skills

Global studies majors need to be able to think critically about big picture issues and how they affect specific cultures and communities. Doing so requires people who can think about the bigger vision as well as small details and also apply those thoughts when trying to solve complex problems.

Problem-solving skills

Global studies majors are looking at a variety of social problems and discussing how they can be solved. The best global studies majors will be able to make compelling arguments and provide innovative solutions to issues affecting the world and these different communities.

Research skills

Global studies requires a lot of research and citing to back up claims, so you’ll have to be comfortable doing heavy research for assignments and projects and also citing your sources correctly. Additionally, streaming your research process and keeping yourself organized are a critical part of this major.

Communication skills

Whether it’s through writing or public speaking, global studies majors are constantly communicating ideas and findings to peers and professors. Doing so requires confidence in your abilities to communicate clearly and effectively regardless of the platform, the topic or your audience.


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Career Opportunities for Sociology Majors

While being a sociology major might seem like a broad course of study, the great thing about this major is that it helps you build a diverse skill set and prepares you for a number of different careers including politics, social work and education. And because of its broad scope, it also allows you to understand the social implications of your work and to seek out opportunities that align with your passions.

Some of the most common career fields for sociology majors include:

Social work

Sociology majors are usually people who are dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place, so they will often turn to social work as a means of making that happen. And since they have a solid understanding of the complex issues affecting the people they work with, sociology majors can be especially effective in this type of role.


Because they desire change, many sociology majors also work in politics, either trying to enact change as policymakers or working behind the scenes to get politicians elected or to promote causes and bring them to the attention of influential figures.


After seeing the big problems society is dealing with, many sociology majors turn to activism as a way of effecting change on a large scale. Activism comes in many forms, including working for a nonprofit that specializes in promoting a particular cause or becoming an advocate in Washington D.C.


Sociology can also be a great foundation for a journalism career. By doing field work and analyzing data, you’ll learn how to find subjects, approach them and get the information you want. Additionally, sociology gives you exposure to a variety of societal problems and this can help you figure out your journalistic focus. For instance, if you’ve taken lots of criminal justice courses in college, writing for the crime beat is an easy transition.


Many sociology majors go on to become experts in a particular group or type of behavior. For instance, a professor could focus on social movements and how they have and haven’t changed over time. Another professor could study something as specific as rap music over the course of the 1990s and what that means for society today.


On many occasions, incensed by the huge societal problems at hand, sociology majors will turn to the legal profession as a way of making an impact. While some choose to go to law school to become lawyers, others decide to become paralegals, probation officers or investigators. All of these positions are a critical part of the criminal justice system and a natural fit for those who are passionate about social issues.


Sociology majors also go into education in the hopes of making a difference in the lives of both young people and adults. While secondary and postsecondary education (high school and college) are the most popular teaching areas, sociology majors can be found in teaching positions across all grade levels. In many cases, young graduates may turn to teaching nonprofits (for example, Teach For America) to become certified educators.

Whether it’s exploring compelling opportunities within the legal profession or discovering the exciting world of journalism, being a sociology major can open up the door to many different careers. The best way to find out which one is right for you is by taking on an internship and seeing which type of career fits your interests.

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What Types of Skills Are Best for a Religion Major?

Thinking of majoring in religion? The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to know everything about every religion (or even be religion, for that matter) to succeed in the major. Instead, here are four key skills that are must-haves if you want to thrive as a religion major.

Critical thinking skills

Religion majors need to be able to think about a broad swath of topics and how they affected and are affected by religion. In the area of religion, there is never a simple or straightforward problem or answer, and as a major, you must be willing to think about these different issues deeply.

Strong reading and writing skills

Religion majors spend a large amount of their time reading texts (both religious and nonreligious), and often those texts are either translated from another language and/or are difficult to read. The strongest religion majors are those who have a system for reading and interpreting those texts and being able to take cohesive, articulate notes on what they’ve read.

Additionally, evaluation in the religion major is often done through writing, so you must be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely through various papers, reading responses and other assignments.

Communication and public speaking skills

In addition to your written work, you’ll also be in many smaller classes that require you to speak up more and present your ideas to peers and professors alike. The best religion majors are those who are thoughtful before they decide to speak but are also confident in their ideas and arguments when they’re presenting them.


If you’re a religion major, you will definitely run into moments where you don’t believe with a text, an argument or your peers. However, the major requires people who are open to hearing the thoughts and ideas of others, even if they aren’t in line with their own notions. By being open-minded, you’ll not only learn a lot more, but you’ll be a much stronger religion major in the long run.

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Career Opportunities for Religion Majors

From studying ancient texts to understanding how religion shapes societies, being a religion major is a great opportunity to learn about the impact of various belief systems on our day-to-day lives. But when it comes to deciding on a career, what are the best ways for religion majors to apply their skills in the real world? For example, what career paths can you embark on with a religion major and where are you likely to be most successful?

Here are some of the most common career paths for religion majors.


Since many religion majors are passionate about one or more religious beliefs, a career as a religious functionary is a great way to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical way. By taking on a role as a minister, rabbi or another type of religious leader, you’ll able to guide followers in your chosen religion while also learning more about that religion and its impact on society.


Another common career path for religion majors is education. From teaching elementary school students to high school students, you’ll be able to translate your knowledge of history and global studies into a teaching career that can span a variety of subjects and grade levels. You can also choose to get an advanced degree in order to teach at the college level.


For religion majors who are interested in continuing along an academic path, a research-focused career can be another satisfying option. This includes research conducted for nonprofits and government agencies as well as academic research related to an advanced degree.


With their strong critical thinking and communication skills, religion majors also make wonderful lawyers, paralegals and legislative aides. In these roles, you’ll be working with clients on their respective legal cases or even advocating for policy change in a number of legislative areas.

Social Work

Another field where religion majors thrive is social work. Focused on helping clients address specific issues including drug addiction and mental health concerns, social work is a wonderful opportunity to connect with others and to make an impact in the life of those who are working to overcome personal challenges.

With its focus on big-picture issues and human relationships, a religion major is a great way to build a strong skill set while gaining exposure to a broad range of ideas. These skills and knowledge can be applied to various careers including education, research and law. If you’re wondering what type of career is best for you, consider taking an internship in a field that interests you. This will help you develop your skill set while getting some exposure to a field you’re passionate about.

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