As the fall semester approaches, many incoming college students are finalizing their academic plans and thinking about their future career paths. One such student, excited about double majoring in Philosophy and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at a small liberal arts college, turned to Reddit for advice.

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Key Takeaways

  • Liberal arts majors like philosophy and gender studies often have non-linear career paths, requiring students to actively network and explore various opportunities to find their niche.
  • Graduates with philosophy and other liberal arts degrees possess strong critical thinking, analytical writing, and communication skills, which are highly valuable and can lead to successful careers in diverse fields such as law, marketing, and social advocacy.
  • Success with a liberal arts degree hinges on having a clear vision of career goals and actively seeking relevant experiences, such as internships and networking, to build a foundation for future opportunities.

With a keen interest in critical theory and aspirations for a career in social justice advocacy, they expressed both enthusiasm and concern about their chosen fields.

However, the views on the issue among Redditors seemed to polarize, as some warned against these majors due to potential job market challenges, while others emphasized the value of pursuing one’s passions and the opportunities available at liberal arts institutions. So let’s what Reddit thinks about majors like gender studies and philosophy.

Career Planning – Is It Really the Biggest Issue?

Choosing a major in the liberal arts, such as gender studies or philosophy, often raises concerns about career planning. As one Reddit user noted

“As is often the case with degrees in some social sciences or humanities, career paths are not very linear. For example, I majored in Anthropology and in that degree field, you are basically ‘set up’ to do anything from editing to journalism, law school, HR, archaeology, etc. So it can seem if you don’t know what you want to do exactly, that there aren’t any opportunities”

Thus, the major issue with these types of majors is that, unlike more specialized fields where the degree directly correlates to a specific job, liberal arts majors often require more networking and self-initiative to find career opportunities. This broad spectrum of opportunities can seem daunting for those without a clear career direction or vision of their goals.

Furthermore, another Redditor highlighted that even within broader fields, there are often overlooked niches that can lead to specialized roles. However, they also acknowledged that these paths can be intimidating for those not inclined toward more specialized areas of study. Additionally, the challenge lies not in the majors themselves but in the students’ understanding of the fields they wish to enter. As one commenter pointed out,

“I have several college mates that went into gender studies with a very clear career goal… The problem is when you go gender studies just to get a degree without a clue about what gender studies get you into.”

The overall sentiment seems to be that it’s not so much about the major you are choosing, but rather about your clear vision of future career opportunities. Liberal arts degrees can indeed lead to fulfilling careers if approached with intention and awareness of potential pathways.

It’s Not All That Bad For People With A Philosophy Degree

Following the Reddit discussion even further, we noted many people agreeing that, contrary to common misconceptions, philosophy, and other liberal arts majors can lead to successful and fulfilling careers. One Reddit user pointed out that

“people from philosophy majors do very well on the LSAT and law school. It’s a fine major for nonprofit, social welfare-type jobs.”

Additionally, liberal arts graduates often excel in fields like marketing and sales due to their strong cultural understanding and communication skills.

“They understand culture, write, and speak well. They succeed :).”

Furthermore, philosophy majors consistently rank high in terms of intellectual capability, with another commenter noting that they are

“amongst the top majors having a student body with the highest average IQ, along with Physics and Math.”

This aligns with the idea that the skills developed through a liberal arts education, such as critical thinking and analytical writing, are highly valuable. As another user mentioned,

“the data shows humanities majors do perfectly fine in their careers. Last I checked, philosophy majors had the greatest growth in income of all majors from entry-level to mid-level.”

Real-life success stories from Redditors further illustrate this point. For instance, one user shared their journey:

“I studied philosophy and got a part-time job with the university at their help desk. I left school with a degree and experience providing tech support for learning management software and other EdTech.”

According to the Redditor, this experience paved the way for a career in the federal government and eventually led them to become an Episcopal Priest, with philosophy proving helpful throughout. Another commenter supported this sentiment, stating,

“I majored in philosophy. Salary over 6 figures for 25 years now. Don’t use it directly. I’m in sales but the critical thinking skills I learned helped me immeasurably.”

The key aspect of a liberal arts degree, particularly in philosophy, as we figured, is its versatility. These, as one commenter called them, “non-linear” majors lead graduates to pursue diverse and successful career paths, totally debunking the myth that such majors lack practical value in the job market.

The Main Point

After reading through many comments and shared experiences on Reddit, it is now pretty clear that majoring in Philosophy is not a bad choice at all. As long as people choosing liberal arts degrees have a clear understanding of what they want to do in the future, they are going to do just fine. Moreover, students in these fields seem to receive a great deal of critical and analytical thinking skills that might even prove very helpful if they decide to turn to more tech-oriented jobs. So yeah, it’s not all that bad in these study areas. And we would like to finalize this thought with one comment, that we found to be painfully true and particularly down to the point:\

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