Philosophy majors soar, don’t struggle, in job search

Philosophy majors don't struggle to find jobs after graduation. Photo illustration by Camryn Duffy

Junna Miyazaki | Reporter

Dr. Todd Buras, associate professor and chair of the philosophy department, estimated that roughly half of Baylor’s philosophy majors go to law school. Baylor’s philosophy major even has a pre-law concentration.

“People think if you’re a philosophy major, you know you want to go into philosophy, but most of the time, people who do philosophy are usually the people who end up becoming lawyers,” Lauren Roe, administrative assistant in the Honors Residential College, said.

Buras also said most law students take philosophy to help them get into law school.

Compared to other majors, philosophy majors consistently perform the second best on graduate school admission exams, according to the American Philosophical Association. On the LSAT itself, philosophy majors rank significantly higher than students majoring in other fields of the humanities.

Roe said she quickly found a job because she had connections at Baylor and because she wanted to work in higher education.

“I have not experienced any problems with getting a job, and most of the people I know who were philosophy majors didn’t look to go into philosophy, but usually a bunch of people go into law or business or doing stuff for nonprofits,” Roe said.

“There is no one career path for philosophy majors because philosophy is one of the liberal arts, which is not aimed at a job-specific knowledge base,” Buras said.

According to an article in The Atlantic, philosophy majors are the highest-earning among those who have a bachelor’s degree in the humanities. The article also said philosophy majors are highly valued in the corporate world because they know how to find creative ways to solve problems.

Buras said logic — one of the five disciplines of philosophy — is similar to other applicable work skills.

“Logic is where they are very similar to math and computer programming, wherein doing proofs, you gain skills in doing arithmetic,” Roe said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, graduates in philosophy earned 103.5% more around 10 years post-commencement.

Buras said philosophy cultivates skills that are highly sought after by employers.

“[Philosophy] is focused on critical thinking, speaking and writing,” Buras said. “It does cultivate the so-called ‘soft’ job skills to a very high degree. The soft job skills are highly transferable and benefit students in any professional venture.”