Careers for Philosophy
Many of our recent students have used Philosophy as a gateway to law school. Recent graduates have gained admission to some of the most prestigious law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and UC Berkeley. Several other graduates have enjoyed successful careers in business, journalism, medicine, organic farming, creative writing and education.
The Practical Benefits of Majoring in Philosophy
The study of philosophy furnishes you with skills that are useful in any career that demands critical thinking skills, creative problem solving skills, the ability to explain and see ideas, the ability to understand and organize complex information, analytical thinking skills, communication skills, writing skills, comfort with disagreement, calm and rational thinking, and an ability and interest in understanding ideas.
Pre-Law in Philosophy
The Chronicle of Higher Education compared popular pre-law majors and determined that philosophy majors consistently outscore other majors, by a large margin, on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). See the Chart Below.
This data is not surprising given the rigorous logical training one gets as a philosophy major. Philosophy majors excel in law school, and in the practice of law because philosophy students are continually required to build logical and well-argued causes for their ideas. By the time a student graduates with a degree in philosophy, they have developed an expertise for distinguishing good arguments from poor arguments. This skill is essential to the practice of law.
Philosophy and Your Career
Here are some of the ways in which philosophy courses at WVU can help you gain skills and insights that will be valuable to you in your post-graduate career:
Pre-law: Acquire the basic tools of legal practice: argumentation, analogical reasoning, and powerful writing. Explore controversial issues on criminal justice, individual freedom, and human rights.
Pre-medical: Could you help family members make a life and death decision about a loved one in a hospital setting? Medical ethicists do just that. Learn about the criteria that are used to make these decisions.
Psychology/Counseling: Develop insights into human meaning and happiness: existentialism, pragmatism, religion, behaviorism. Which theory best promotes human flourishing?
Psychology/Experimental: Discover links between philosophy of mind and cognition and behavior. Broaden your conceptual grasp of important psychological research topics.
Political Science: Read the classic texts of political thought from a philosophical perspective. Explore the foundational connections between ethics and government as they pertain to rights and social justice.
Natural Sciences: Which comes first: facts, theory, or methodology? The answer will determine how you understand your own scientific work.
Mathematics: Do you like abstract reasoning? Try investigating the foundations of mathematics, logic, and semantics. Use your analytical skills to solve philosophical puzzles and paradoxes.
English: Great literary authors have expressed some of our most inspiring philosophical ideas. Gain a systematic appreciation for those ideas by looking at the philosophers who influenced them and were influenced by them.
Journalism: Practice your critical thinking skills on the key topics of our times. Become knowledgeable about the ethical and political structures that control communication.
A member of the Philosophy faculty serves in the post of Career Services Coordinator and helps students find the information they need about post-graduate careers and graduate schools.
Other information can be found at the following links: