Preparing for work. Preparing for life.
Instead of instructing students in competences and techniques that are specific to a particular vocation, philosophy works by developing a more set of analytic and critical skills, skills developed by having students think hard about issues raised and discussed in classical and contemporary sources. These skills include the abilities to analyze a problem or argument, and to express one’s findings to others in clear, intelligible language.
These sorts of skills are valuable in a wide variety of real-life situations. As a consequence, philosophy majors are successful in many sorts of post-baccalaureate careers. A few of our majors go on to do graduate work in the discipline; some eventually become professional academic philosophers. But more alumni from our department can be found pursuing careers in law, public service (including political office), medicine, journalism, education, business, religion and many other areas for which clear thinking and an ability to express oneself in writing and speech are essential qualifications.