Despite the anti-philosophy rhetoric, philosophy majors do very well in the job market. A recent study by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that in 2015, only five percent of philosophy majors were unemployed, six months after graduation — a percentage that has been decreasing for years. In 2001, this number was much higher. As the American Philosophical Association summarizes the findings:
The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU), which also collates data of this kind, agrees philosophers are finding it easier to secure work. Its figures show that, in 2001, 9.9 percent of philosophy graduates were unemployed six months after graduation. In 2006, just 6.7 percent were (Academy of Arts and Sciences). By 2015, this figure dropped to only 5 percent.
This bears repeating: 95% of college students got a job within six months after graduation, and as CNN Money reports, their starting salary averaged out to 35,000. Given that this is more than the median personal income of all workers over 15 (the U.S. Census Bureau reports it to be $30,240), we think that’s a pretty good start.
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But what kind of jobs? Not in the area of philosophy, that’s for sure. I have a worthless philosophy degree. However, I am wiser than most but still poor!!!
It is true. There are not a lot of jobs for professional philosophers. One needs a Ph.D., usually, and there are very few jobs even then. But, as we show throughout this website. if you market yourself clearly, your degree can get you many jobs and a lot of them have philosophical aspects. The degree is far from worthless.