We at Philosophy Is a Great Major love hearing the effect that philosophy has had on people’s lives and careers. Sometimes, though, people write us who wish they had studied philosophy, but never have. This is one of those stories,
submitted by Steven from Maryland.
“I’m not a philosophy student and cannot offer any insight into careers based on philosophy degrees. Instead, I have an engineering bachelors and two masters’ degrees in the area of business. I’m 65 and in the twilight of my engineering career, seriously considering taking up the study of philosophy after retirement.
Why? Because in a career spent supporting US Army technical projects (development and procurement of electronic equipment such as radios, information technology, and surveillance equipment) it became evident to me that knowledge of things and managing resources (the stuff of engineering and business) gets you only so far. I believe all careers have at least one thing in common: the work is for and because of people. Even technical careers like mine and careers in science have strong links to human needs and desires.
I don’t know anyone in my business who was successful without having an ability to work in teams and with other people. Frequently, I’ve thought I would have had a tremendous advantage in working with and for people if I also had seriously studied ethics, logic, philosophy of religion, philosophy of government, and other philosophical endeavors focused on what motivates people and logic behind the human experience. Intuitively, it seems to me that philosophy can provide insight into people; whether that insight is focused on humanity as a whole, or people as individuals.
I firmly believe that kind of knowledge would have greatly assisted me in my career and is remains so intriguing to me, that I’m may take up such studies in retirement.
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