Philosophy Skills

Philosophy majors are often asked, “What IS philosophy?” and “What do you do with a philosophy degree?” In other words, of all the majors one could choose to study, WHY PHILOSOPHY?
If you are a philosophy major, or thinking about becoming one, here are some facts to help you answer these questions. Share them with your friends and family!

Philosophy differs from most disciplines because, in philosophy courses, students are not taught what to think but rather how to think. Knowing that some problems have multiple solutions—or no solution—is an important skill, and employers recognize the value of hiring people who know how to ask the right questions, analyze issues from many points of view, and assess the pros and cons of competing proposals. This is the business of philosophy.


When you study philosophy, you develop skills in verbal and written communication, problem-solving, clear and disciplined thinking and analysis, along with persuasive argumentation. These are skills that are directly applicable in careers in law, business administration, technical fields, computer programming, politics, entrepreneurship and writing-based professions. Our UA philosophy majors have pursued careers in business management, marketing, advertising, law, medicine, software engineering, public relations, library science, journalism, retail, and more.

Here’s what philosophy graduates know: Employers want someone who can think logically, find unique solutions to problems, and communicate them to others. Employers are looking for people with skills that translate into running a business.

The ETHICS TRACK in the philosophy major opens career doors for students who want to work in mediation, health professions, non-profit organizations, environmental liaison work, criminal justice, social work and consulting. To find out more:

A University of Arizona 2012 philosophy graduate, Rader Lane, turned a summer job into a full-time professional position as an Interpretive Ranger at Grand Canyon National Park, conducting programs about the cultural and natural resources of the area. Rader credits his career to philosophy. He says, “Learning the facts is the easy part. Philosophy trained me to connect intangible concepts and universal ideas with the tangible objects of the Grand Canyon area, giving people a much deeper experience. Philosophy itself is the practice of interpreting reality, gaining clarity, and using the tools of language to express how things ought to be understood.”

A new study by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences found that people with bachelor's degrees in the humanities are both gainfully employed and satisfied with their work. For more information see:


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