Philosophy is one of the oldest college courses of study and represents the best traditions of liberal-arts education. Through the study of philosophy, students consider a variety of topics centering on the realm of human thought, including the nature of knowledge, the essence of reality, and the perception of time and truth. Philosophy courses also focus on such subjects as ethics, morality, religion, and language.

A high-quality philosophy curriculum will stress reading, critical thinking, argument, writing, and verbal communication.

While any general liberal-arts degree can provide an excellent foundation for entry-level work in businesses that value writing and critical-thinking skills, those interested in working in fields directly connected to philosophy will typically need to pursue additional graduate education. Those with graduate degrees in philosophy may pursue careers as philosophy professors, philosophical counselors, or ethical decision-making consultants. A philosophy undergraduate degree, with its focus on argumentation and thinking, also provides excellent preparation for attending law school. Becoming a lawyer requires earning a professional graduate degree (the J.D.) and becoming licensed to practice law by meeting additional state requirements.

For more information on these careers and current salaries, please consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook at

Current salary information for one sample career in that may begin with a degree in philosophy (lawyer) can be found here: