Choose a Practical Major!

Philosophy is about finding the meaning of life and uncovering the deepest secrets of the universe.

Everyone does philosophy. Everyone wonders whether there can be life after death, or what our moral obligations to our neighbors are, or what it means to be a good citizen, or whether God exists, or when we should trust science. Philosophy is a part of being human, and so it's practical and relevant to everyone.

But there are many other practical benefits as well.

  • Students who study only one narrow set of skills, especially skills that computers or robots also possess, are in danger of losing their jobs to automation. You should ensure that you build a flexible foundation of vital intellectual skills.
  • Philosophy majors score at or near the top in all post-graduate exams and admission rates to professional schools, such as graduate school, law school, medical school, and business school.
  • Philosophy makes the world better. The return to society on investment for a philosophy major is similar to that of an engineering major.
  • And—believe it or not—philosophers are well-paid too!

You can read more here about all these practical benefits.

... Or a Practical Minor

Chances are, you only need three or four other courses beyond your degree requirements to minor in philosophy. Choose a minor that helps you stand out from the competition and shows you have the intellectual flexibility and skills to excel at anything you choose.

To minor in philosophy, you need to take PHL 101, plus five other courses in philosophy: two at the 200-level and three at the 300/400 level. For example, if you took a 200-level and a 300-level for your core-curriculum requirements, plus another 200-level for your Ethics requirement and a 300-level for your Integrations requirement, you'd only need one more course for the minor. It's easy!

A set of images of philosophers.

Get a Good Job

Let's ask some managers and entrepreneurs.

CEO Sabine Heller, on what she looks for in hiring:

I’m much more interested in understanding the way someone thinks than what they have done…. So what I do is have a conversation with them to understand how they problem-solve, to understand how agile their mind is, to understand why they do what they do.

CEO Nick Miller, on why he (a philosophy major) is a successful entrepreneur:

After all, many of the same qualities that make a good entrepreneur are the same qualities that make a good philosopher. Both occupations require clear communication, critical thinking and the ability to sell your ideas. And while these are just a few skills that entrepreneurs share with philosophers, there are many more valuable lessons that founders and CEOs can learn from this ancient yet timeless discipline.

Matthew Stewart, management consultant and entrepreneur, on why managers should study philosophy and not business:

But what does an M.B.A. do for you that a doctorate in philosophy can’t do better? ... The best business schools will tell you that management education is mainly about building skills—one of the most important of which is the ability to think (or what the M.B.A.s call “problem solving”). But do they manage to teach such skills? The recognition that management theory is a sadly neglected subdiscipline of philosophy began with an experience of déjà vu. As I plowed through my shelfload of bad management books, I beheld a discipline that consists mainly of unverifiable propositions and cryptic anecdotes, is rarely if ever held accountable, and produces an inordinate number of catastrophically bad writers. It was all too familiar .... [Philosophers} are much better at knowing what they don’t know.

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban predicts that a philosophy degree will be worth more than a computer-science degree:

I’m going to make a prediction .... In 10 years, a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree .... What is happening now with artificial intelligence is we’ll start automating automation .... Artificial intelligence won’t need you or I to do it, it will be able to figure out itself how to automate [tasks] over the next 10 to 15 years.

Don't get replaced by a robot. Major in philosophy!

A set of images of famous philosophy-majors.

Small Class Sizes, Individual Attention

Spring Hill College’s small class sizes and flexible course offerings allow us to tailor teaching and mentoring to the needs of each student, not only within a single class but across the curriculum. In the spirit of our Jesuit humanities core, many students take two or more courses with the same professors, working with us throughout their college career to address the fundamental questions about truth, meaning, human nature, and the values and commitments that give shape to our personal, political and spiritual lives.

Our majors are bright, enthusiastic and collaborative. Interviews with employers in a wide variety of fields show that SHC philosophy majors stand out in their ability to gather and synthesize vast sources of information, solve new and complex problems, and speak persuasively to issues of vital importance to whatever career they are pursuing as job applicants and employees.

For More Information

Dr. C. R. Dodsworth
Professor, Department Chair