What Can You Do with a Philosophy Major?

I’m on the mailing list for the Vassar Venture Capitalists Club.  (Long story.)  Anyway, their “Entrepreneur of the Month” is a 2006 graduate who started her own business:  “Dapper Dog Training.”  Did she major in economics?  No.  She majored in philosophy.  Check out the Vassar Ventures Newsletter article about her.

I was curious about whether (and if so, how) her philosophy background helped in her career.  She replied and gave me permission to quote her:

I knew in my last year of High School that Philosophy was the obvious choice.  It seemed obvious because I thought it would expand my choices as a graduate. I think it did, and I am still pleased with the choice even though Psychology probably would have served dog training better.

I really enjoyed my later years at Vassar as a Philosophy major. I felt like I was getting to hone my craft. I think studying Philosophy in college was a lot like choosing to be an entrepreneur; the beginning was hard but when I pushed through I really found something special that I loved and made my own.  Majoring in Philosophy still helps me today because it gave me great analytic and writing skills. Most people assume philosophers cannot write! This helps me a great deal with writing my own materials for marketing as well as for clients.

In life philosophy taught me how to argue from any angle, and how to predict the other person’s argument, etc. It gives me confidence in most conversations / social situations. Maybe it’s my personality that I am not easily intimidated,  but class is great practice for taking a fledgling idea, and arguing for it. Lastly, studying Philosophy taught me to distance myself from depressing notions and to keep myself grounded. I could see that if people continued to delve deeper and deeper into questions outside of class, it really separated them from reality. I think it was the beginning of work-life balance for me. Philosophy Majors are seen as useless by plenty of parents, but actually it taught me not to get lost in thought.

About The Doc

"The Doc" is a professor at Vassar College (USA). However, the views expressed in his blog and comments are not necessarily those of Vassar, its administration, or other employees, none of whom bears any responsibility for his opinions.
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