Majors in Their Own Words
My philosophy degree has proven beneficial in both personal and professional pursuits. On the one hand, I can always offer food for thought when conversations lull. On the other, my career as a lawyer began first with honing my analytical skills. I entered law school with a competitive LSAT score and skills for argument and writing rivaled by few others. As a practicing attorney, I am capable of seeing the broad picture as well as making distinctions where others see none. I strongly encourage anyone interested in law to major in philosophy. You will never regret your decision.
Graduating with a BA in Philosophy was a great career decision and a great asset when I was applying for full time jobs. My finance major helped get my resume on people's desks, but lately in interviews people wanted to talk more about my philosophy degree. The partners at the valuation firm thought that my philosophy degree was more useful in my position than a finance degree because I was able to understand the purpose and essence of the work instead of just the numbers. I was also able to effectively criticize the way that the valuation process worked, which really impressed them. The job that I'll be starting shortly thought that philosophy was valuable to the mindset of consulting because I can easily grasp concepts and solve problems.
Classes offered in the Department of Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Law and Ethics) were the most challenging and engaging classes that I took while at GSU, and the professors were able to offer great feedback to enhance my arguments. The skills I developed during my Philosophy coursework boosted my writing skills, analytical capabilities, and ability to solve problems; all of which are essential in the workplace. I have yet to meet an employer who doesn't value logic, creativity, and critical thinking, so I would strongly urge anyone studying Philosophy to enter the job market ready to display these assets to potential employers.
In my experience, philosophy fosters a certain mentality, a questioning undercurrent to my thinking. I majored in philosophy because I had so many questions I wanted answered: Does God exist? How does morality work? What is it to know something? As I continued on through the years, I didn’t find all the answers, but I started to understand and value the questions on a new level. I now had some intellectual footing to tackle the questions, even if I stumbled (and still do). I could see both sides, the pros and cons, and with no answers handed to me from my teachers, I learned how to investigate, research, and respond to the questions by myself. Now, if I face a complex issue with no clear answer, even outside the classroom, I know how to start answering it. Moreover, I know how to present my answer to an audience in a persuasive way. Philosophy fosters a desire to always learn more and to think critically through a problem. And personally, philosophy enriched my life. I’ll always be thankful for my time as an undergraduate philosophy major at Georgia State.
Before transferring to Georgia State, I had in my mind that I would major in Psychology and minor in Philosophy. I have a strong passion for both these fields. I loved my psychology classes but when I took a few philosophy classes, my attention was captured like never before. I then made the decision to switch my minor into another major because I did not want to miss out on valuable knowledge and critical thinking skills. Also I plan on attending graduate school, and I believe that double majoring in two fields that work well with each other will be very helpful. I believe that if a student is majoring in a field that can be related to philosophy, they should go ahead and be a double major because philosophy will help with the critical thinking aspect of that primary major.
I had wanted to be an artist since I was eleven years old. I knew nothing about philosophy and had never picked up a philosophical text until I transferred to Georgia State. I never imagined I would end up being a philosopher. But upon taking my first philosophy class, I was hooked. Like any other student of philosophy, life's big questions fascinate me. I do wonder what it all means and how it all works. Yet, it was the methods of philosophy that truly drew me in. I have always thought too much, and few things satisfy my intellect like dissecting arguments, finding mistakes in the logic and reasoning of others, and the copious amounts of reading and writing that philosophy requires.
The philosophy classes I took at Georgia State have prepared me well to embark on a career in academia. The faculty did a great job of honing my critical thinking skills and writing ability; I am a much better philosopher now. The faculty also made my time at GSU very enjoyable. No educator has made me laugh or entertained me as much as my philosophy professors have. Being a philosophy major at Georgia State has opened many doors for me and it has given me the chance to go on to study philosophy at the graduate level. However, I will always value my time doing philosophy at Georgia State as much for the opportunities it has given me as for how fun my time there was.