Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It? (2022)

Is a philosophy degree worth it that is the question we are going to be asking and answering today is it worth going 40,000 in debt in order to get this degree.

And we are gonna be jumping right into it what exactly is philosophy well according to google philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge reality and existence especially considered as an academic discipline.

And so a lot of the time philosophy majors will focus on tackling very difficult questions and trying to answer them using logic and ethics they’ll learn about constructing arguments both written as well as verbal and then delivering those arguments.

Every year here in the united states around 5,600 people graduate with a bachelor’s in philosophy some common career paths they end up going down journalist paralegal arbitrator lawyer and writer now in order to figure out if this degree is going to be worth 40,000 in four years of your time we are going to be going over four important factors.


Salary so the average person who graduates with this degree can expect to earn around 48,000 a year starting out and 89,000 in mid-career pay you can compare that to a high and a low paying degree.

You’ll see that it’s kind of in the middle you’ll also see here that it does take a huge leap from early career pay to mid career pace so apparently there’s not a lot of opportunity out there for early career but mid-career there’s going to be more opportunity,

But i was really curious about that because it doesn’t score all that bad especially for kind of you know a liberal arts or social science type degree it’s actually pretty good and so i looked into it and i think one of the reasons it scores so well is many people who graduate with a philosophy degree a bachelor’s degree in philosophy end up going back to graduate school,

In fact according to this website right here it’s 57.3 percent that is astounding that means 57.3 of the people who get a philosophy degree in undergrad end up going back and getting either a master’s,

Or a doctorate and i think one of the main reasons for that is because philosophy is kind of a pipeline type degree to becoming a lawyer for instance but i guess the big point here is because of the fact that people who getyou know masters and doctorate degrees tend to earn more than people who get bachelor’s,

But they also take on more debt and more risk and it takes a lot longer that might explain why it shows that the mid-career pay is so much higher than early career pay and it does seem to be pretty decently paying overall but i’m not 100 sure about that it could also be that people who pursue philosophy degrees tend to be really smart.

So they just tend to do really well in life or it could be that these skills you learn in philosophy studying it is going to help you in other areas of your life i think it probably has a little bit to do with each of those now when you look at the specific careers you could become a paralegal for instance and,

They make around fifty one thousand dollars a year and that’s around twenty four dollars per hour writers and authors make sixty three thousand a year or thirty dollars an hour and arbitrators mediators and consolators make sixty 63,000 a year or 30 an hour so these are some decent paying careers you know just to put that in perspective the average,

Career here in the us you’re going to make around 50,000 a year now when you look at philosophy which is technically a liberal arts degree although some types of philosophy involve more social science side of things because they focus more on like politics and ethics but philosophy is technically a liberal arts degree,

And over a lifetime you’ll make around 2.1 million dollars and that is definitely lower than the average for all majors of 2.4 million so overall there is some conflicting evidence here and we don’t know exactly why philosophy majors score relatively well compared to a lot of the other liberal arts majors buti’m going to give this one a 7 out of 10 overall.


Next we’re going to be talking about satisfaction which is probably the most subjective of all the different sections this could be completely differen depending on what type of person you are your personality your background career that you end up working in the job that you work for the company you work for the industry you work in all kinds of different things can affect this,

So keep that in mind this is very subjective section so take it with a grain of salt but with that being said when it comes to the meaning score which is how much somebody thinks their career positively impacts the world people who graduate with philosophy degrees have a 41 score,

And you can compare that to one that’s really high and one that’s really low and it’s actually on the lower side i was pretty surprised by that i personally think philosophy is interesting and i think a lot of people agree with me on that and,

So i was surprised to see the meaning score is so low now when you look at a specific career you might go into like becoming a paralegal for instance they have a meeting score of 45 which again is on the lower side however when you look at the job satisfaction it comes out at 69 and,

If you compare that to a really good one and a really bad one like before you’ll see that it’s kind of on the higher side of things it’s a little bit above average now when you look at how much somebody regrets a particular degree choice with ziprecruiter for some reason they didn’t put liberal arts degrees on there but,

I think they bunched them in with social sciences and law and that came out to be the fourth most regretted type of degree choice and the reason for that was because it’s too general impractical hard to find a job without further studies,

However i will say here that i think most people who get a philosophy degree kind of know what they’re getting themselves into there’s pretty much no jobs out there for philosophers and i think everybody knows that it’s not one of those degrees where it’s sort of a bait and,

Switch where they tell you that there’s going to be a lot of jobs and then you graduate and you’re like where’s the jobs at i’m not able to get a job hey go to starbucks so realistically speaking i think mostpeople who get a philosophy degree know that they’re probably not going to become a philosopher.

So they’re usually either doing it because they’re really passionate about it or they at least know what kind of career path they might end up going into maybe they plan on going back to school for instance and i do think philosophy is extremely interesting and it teaches you some really practical you know thinking skills being able to formulate an argument and,

Then present it so i think realistically here people kind of know what they’re getting themselves into at this degree and they probably know that they need to have some kind of plan for what career path they’re going to go down afterwards so i might be a little biased here but i think i’m going to give this one an 8.5 out of 10.


Next we’re going to be talking about demand and this is basically how much hiring managers and business owners want to hire people who graduate with these degrees so looking back on paralegal for instance there are around 337,000 jobs available and,

It’s growing at 10 which is much faster than average meaning over the next 10 years there’s going to be 35,000 new jobs created so that’s really good but the problem here is you only have to get an associate’s degree in order to become a paralegal,

And you don’t necessarily have to major in philosophy in order to become a paralegal there’s a lot of other degrees that you could major in as well next is writer or author and there’s 131,000 jobs available and it is declining at negative 2 meaning there’s going to be 3,100 less jobs 10 years from now than there is now and,

 philosophy degree jobs

Then with the other one we talked about arbitrator there’s 7,300 jobs available and it’s growing at 8 which is much faster than average now of course there is no current data on unemployment rates for the specific degrees just because of everything that’s happening in the world right now but liberal arts degrees in general tend to have higher levels of unemployment,

So for instance according to hey tutor a few years ago philosophy came in as number four when it comes to unemployment and underemployment and unemployment’s pretty self-explanatory you’re not able to get a job underemployment is where you are able to get a job,

But it’s only part time or it has absolutely nothing to do with what you actually wanted to do so it’s kind of just menial labor sort of job so for instance you might get a philosophy degree and then end up working at starbucks serving coffee now one test that i like to do is to look up the degree name on,

Or and see how many job listings pop up so for instance when you look up philosophy degree you’re going to see 15,000 job listings pop up which is actually on the better side so you can compare that to a really good one like computer science or one that’s not very good like anthropology,

And it’s not bad my theory on this is that business owners and hiring managers know that people who graduate with philosophy degrees tend to be pretty smart and not only are they smart but they’re probably going to be able to get them at a relatively low price,

Just because of the fact that there’s not a lot of jobs out there for philosophy ┬ábut overall not super impressive in this category i’m going to have to give this one a 7 out of 10.

X Factors

Next we’re going to be talking about x factors which is anything that i think is important but didn’t fit into any of the other categories so going back to how much liberal arts majors make over a lifetime we saw that it was below average at about 2.1 million.

Now looking down the list it’s going to vary greatly how much they make over a lifetime depending on what career path they go into so for instance if you graduated with a liberal arts degree and then you ended up working with computers you’d make around 2.9 million which is much better if you went into management you’d make around 3 million,

But if you went into office support you’d only make around 1.6 million now this is data from let’s say like the last 40 years or so so maybe 40 years from now this could be completely different so it is kind of a bad sign overall but it is going to depend on what career path you’re going down,

So if you really do your research and you know what you’re doing and you know exactly what career you’re going for this could work out for you now zip recruiter has a skills index and they didn’t have philosophy as a skill but something that was close to it maybe was paralegal skills and that scored 57 out of a hundred you can compare that to a really high one like software engineering,

Or one that’s not very good like industrial sewing and you’ll see that it’s kind of average or maybe slightly above average now one area where liberal arts degrees really shine is the risk of automation so the soft skills that you learn with a liberal arts degree especially philosophy being able to you know formulate an argument,

And then present it communicating with people those sorts of skills in my opinion are probably never going to be automated it would be very difficult to teach a robot how to do that so for instance an arbitrator only has around a six percent chance of being automated now according to

Philosophy is one of the more difficult majors so it’s not going to be a cakewalk getting a philosophy degree by any means that is something to keep in mind that might be a good thing or a bad thing sometimes it’s a good thing to have a difficult major,

Because that means there’s going to be a higher barrier to entry now you could argue that the soft skills and some of the intangible skills in general that you learn with a philosophy degree aren’t going to be able to be measured when it comes to salary,

So for instance it might teach you skills that help you open your own business where you make a lot more than anybody who just has a normal nine to five job and so indirectly it taught you skills that helped you out later on down the line on top of it it could just help you in life in general you know this is a personal finance channel,

So of course i focus on that but personal finance is part of the pi it’s part of the equation you definitely don’t want to ignore it but it’s not the most important thing by any means so overall i’m going to give this one ascore of 7 out of 10 when it comes to x factors.

So when you add up all four scores divided by 4 you’re going to get 7.37 out of 10. i think this is one of these majors that attracts a lot of smart people and that’s why you saw some confusing and almost conflicting statistics overall i think this one can work out for the right person especially if you have a good plan,

And you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and when i was doing research on this one i always go to different forums of people who graduate with college degrees and do extensive research look at different case studies youtube videos.

Etc i saw that a lot of people didn’t regret this one as much as a lot of the other liberal arts degrees many of them said that it didn’t really help them get a job but at the same time it didn’t hurt them all that much and because of the fact that they just really enjoyed it and it taught them skills that will help them in other areas of their life they didn’t regret it,

So take that for what it’s worth a lot of the time it might be a better idea for you to just minor in this one or double major in it or just take extra classes or study it on the side but for the right person who has a good game plan you know exactly what you’re doing this can be worth it for you now,

If you’re still waiting for your college decree video to come out because i have hundreds of different requests on different college degrees that people want me to review you can check that out down in the description it’s my college degree ranker.

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