In today’s demanding and changeable marketplace, employers seek thoughtful and innovative individuals who know how to use their heads. Philosophy majors are marketable because they receive a broad and adaptable education that teaches them to use their heads.
Among the skills and traits that training in philosophy seeks to cultivate, the following have a clear bearing on career options:
- Seeing issues from alternative viewpoints
- A cultivated (Socratic) capacity for listening – both sympathetically and critically
- Skill at bridging dialogue between individuals who are divided by philosophical differences
- Problem-solving resourcefulness based on a wide-ranging breadth of knowledge and on a habit of asking creative questions
- Skill at developing a clear, orderly, and persuasive presentation of ideas
- Logical rigor in building an argumentative case, and alertness to logical fallacies
- Sensitivity to subtle differences in meaning
- Analytical depth that reaches down to fundamentals
- A cultivated habit of reflecting about larger ends (e.g., of a business enterprise, of a social project, of a political movement) and of charting a course that does not betray those ends
- Attunement to the ethical implications of any practice (based on training in ethics, theoretical and applied)
- Capacity for independence of thought
The important asset in establishing a career is knowing how to use your head, and this asset comes from a broad liberal arts education.