Why I chose to major in Philosophy

By Cayla Clinkenbeard
On February 6, 2014

Last year, I returned to ASU as an undergraduate student to pursue a degree in philosophy.
"Philosophy?," most people ask me, "What are you going to do with that?"

In our current economic recession, this question is legitimate. I will try to answer why I decided that philosophy is the best degree for me.

Many people choose their majors based on which degree seems more marketable.

Every company needs a business leader or an accountant and every hospital needs nurses, so these degrees are often the most popular. However, even these degrees do not guarantee a job in the current market.

I decided to instead major in something that is stimulating for me and makes me feel I have gained important skills.

The skills I have learned in philosophy, namely critical thinking and clear communication, are some of the most sought-after by business leaders of various settings, but I have chosen to continue my education and apply to graduate school.

By the time I graduate this spring, I will know whether I have been accepted for fall admission to graduate school.

As a philosophy major, I have made great progress in my ability to understand other fields of study.

In all of my classes, from science to literature, I feel more competent because of my philosophy classes.
Philosophy forces me to critically examine my own beliefs and the beliefs of others.

It allows me to understand the logical progression of what I read and what others say.

The skill of understanding implications is often neglected in other fields of study because there is no time to teach me how to think; I need to learn facts instead.

However, philosophy taught me how to think for myself, no matter what subject matter I am considering.
I have also learned how to write clearly and concisely from philosophy classes.

This skill has helped me write papers for classes, for resumes, for publication, for conferences, for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and for graduate school applications.

Being able to communicate with others is a skill that every job requires.

From my philosophy papers, I learned how to write self-consciously, and I can better say exactly what I mean.
I have learned invaluable skills from taking philosophy classes, but most importantly, I am inspired by philosophy.

I've always been a curious type of person. As a child, I wondered about the world around me, myself, and other people.

I realized later that there are some questions that no one knows the answer to. Philosophy gives me an outlet for exploring these questions and seeking possible answers.

For this reason, philosophy is much more than a major for me. It is the Raison d'être, the reason for existing.

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