Why Philosophy in the 21st Century?

From ethics to existentialism

Studying philosophy promotes intellectual and psychological growth, yet it also develops capabilities prized by most employers and needed by our increasingly global society.

The Philosophy major prepares students for a wide variety of careers by imparting knowledge and skills that are valuable to almost all employers. This is critical because the average employee in the twenty first century is almost certain to change careers, not just jobs, several times in his/her working life. Having valuable knowledge and skills that are broad and wide makes one flexible and nimble for a rapidly changing job market.

The study of philosophy improves one’s capacities to think critically and creatively, to appreciate complexity, to feel comfortable with diversity and disagreement, to work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, to communicate effectively both in writing and orally, to read with understanding complicated and complex material, and to solve problems. A Liberal Arts education doesn't just train you for a job, it gives you the tools to make a living and to make an intellectually rewarding life.

Our global society is in constant flux, and since the advent of the Internet, the average connected human is bombarded with billions of bytes of information each day. How do you separate the truth from the untruth, the media or government spin from fact, or reality from hearsay that has gone viral? Law, ethics, justice, politics, religion, climate change—the topics from the front page of reddit to the New York Times all have underlying ties to philosophy. Now, more than ever, society needs world citizens who have the analytical skills to make informed assessment about the world around them and have the written and oral communication skills to share their ideas with others. Philosophy is not an ancient, antiquated discipline, it is an essential intellectual pursuit for life in the 21st century and beyond.

Philosophy majors tend to do extremely well on graduate school admissions exams and have superior acceptance rates into law school as well as medical school. It is commonly known that Philosophy majors are at the top for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), but the majors also outperform peers for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Council). According to the Educational Testing Service, philosophy majors have the highest average verbal reasoning score and the strongest analytical writing scores on the GRE of all majors. They also have better average quantitative reasoning scores than majors in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Life Sciences with the exception of Economics and Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Philosophy majors have the highest scores on the GMAT with the exception of Mathematics and Physics. Philosophy majors’ scores substantially exceed all business majors indicating a strong foundation for moving onto business graduate studies. While Philosophy majors have top acceptance rates into law schools, past data from the Association of American Medical Colleges also demonstrates that these majors have the highest acceptance rates into medical school, even above science majors such as Biology and Chemistry.