It’s the Secret to Success!

Here’s a joke. What do you call a student with a Philosophy degree? Answer: A Starbucks employee. Funny, yes, but this myth is dead wrong. A Philosophy degree equips students with fundamental skills, empowering them to dominate in a variety of careers.


Want to succeed in business? Major in Philosophy. Philosophy majors score better than business majors on business school entrance exams! And philosophy majors actually have higher mid-career salaries than other majors including business, marketing, and communications majors (according to Forbes and The Wall Street Journal).


Want to get into the best law school? Major in Philosophy. Philosophy majors earn the best LSAT scores among all other majors (including political science and criminal justice majors).


Want to become a doctor? Major in Philosophy. Philosophy majors earn the best MCAT scores among all other humanity majors. And Philosophy majors actually have a significantly higher medical school acceptance rate than biology and chemistry majors!


Why does Philosophy, which seems so impractical, empower students for success? Because it teaches fundamental skills, crucial to success, including:

  1. critical thinking (logic, analysis, problem solving, research)
  2. clear writing and speaking communication skills
  3. reasoned persuasion
  4. the ability to think creatively and imaginatively


Such fundamentals of higher education are core to a student achieving success in a dynamic and ever-changing world. While many majors offer only a few career possibilities, a philosophy major opens students to numerous possibilities, including law, business, medicine, education, F.B.I., government, publishing, writing, research, consulting, social and community services, business, and computer programming.


Consider some of the most successful people from various professions who were Philosophy majors.  In business, CEOs Carly Fiorina (Hewlett Packard) and Gerald Levine (Time Warner).  In politics, Rudolph Giuliani, George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton, and Pat Buchanan.  In law, Supreme Court justices Steven Breyer and David Souter. In journalism, Stone Phillips, Mark Hulbert (Forbes), and George Will.  In entertainment, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Susan Sarandon, Alex Trebek.  In the arts, composer Phillip Glass, writers Wallace Shawn and David Foster Wallace.  In sports, John Elway, Mike Schmidt, Phil Jackson.  In religion, Pope John Paul II.  And in the military, Kristen Baker, the first female brigade commander at West Point!


Yet Philosophy is not only the best major for success: Philosophy is a valuable in and of itself. It is a field that engages questions that are fundamental to our humanity, to our values, to life and to the meaning of our lives. Philosophy not only trains the brain: it nourishes the soul. So if a student wants to live a life of success and significance, they should major in Philosophy!


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