Studying philosophy develops cognitive skills of real value to employers. Here are some examples of what others have to say about the benefits of studying the subject.
Philosophy graduates: verbal reasoning and analytical writing champions
The GRE (the most pervasive general graduate school exam in the U.S), released a dataset 2013. The verbal section of the test measured a student's critical thinking ability, reading comprehension, and vocabulary mastery. Philosophy outranked all other majors (including sciences) by a significant margin in this section, as well as in analytical writing.
American Physical Society 2014. Buzz Blog, Best Majors for GRE Scores in 2013: Philosophy Dominates; Available online [Accessed 30/12/14]
A few examples of matches made in heaven?
Philosophy and Journalism
Shannon Rupp, an independent Canadian journalist, says:
“Several people have asked what I think someone who wants to be a journalist should study. I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy. A smattering of undergrad philosophy classes taught me something applicable to any and every job: clarity of thought. [...]Epistemology — the study of what we can know — turned out to be particularly useful, since people love to tell reporters what they believe as if it’s a fact. Well, to be fair, they often don’t know the difference between their beliefs and facts”.
Rupp, S. 2013. Be employable, study philosophy.Salon Available online [Accessed 30/12/14]
Philosophy and Entrepreneurship
According to an article in the Huffington Post, here are the skills that Philosophy students develop and which are particularly useful when starting a business:
“Generating unique ways of viewing existing problems: Open-ended assignments push philosophy students to find and take on a unique aspect of the work of the philosopher they are studying, to frame their thinking around a fresh and interesting question, or to make original connections between the writings of two distinct thinkers. Similarly, entrepreneurs need to be able to identify and understand new and unique opportunities in existing markets”. Among other valuable skills are: “Seeing themes and patterns”, “organizing people and ideas into systems”, “crafting well-reasoned arguments” and “reading and writing well”.
Nasserghodsi, N. 2012. The Value of Philosophy in Entrepreneurship, The Huffington Post, Available online [Accessed 30/12/14]
Why now more than ever?
“Needed: broader questions and goals. This has grown difficult to do at the organizational level because so many our businesses are packed with specialized domain experts. We are having trouble connecting the dots among these knowledge silos to conceive enduring solutions.[...] Philosophers have the skills to examine areas that modern-day domain experts too often ignore: core beliefs, ethics, and character”
Seidman, D. 2010. Philosophy is Back in Business. Businessweek