Categories: Guides by Industry & MajorPhilosophy

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.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Philosophy Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Ways to Impress Your New Boss.


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