My College Degree: Not So Useless After All

Apparently, if you’re getting a humanities degree and you want to make money, a philosophy degree is the way to go. This is according to PayScale, a company which surveys college graduates about such things:

Although philosophy majors rank 75th on PayScale’s overall list of majors at mid-career earnings, it’s the top humanities bachelors degree in their ranking—from early career all the way to later career.

The idea here is that getting a philosophy degree gives you a certain amount of creative problem-solving abilities other folks might not have, which may come in handy out in the real world.

Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly why I got my philosophy degree.

Although, honestly, it’s not out of line with what I’ve said the advantage of getting that particular degree has been. I learned how to learn, and I also learned how to argue and to evaluate arguments, and in particular I learned how language works and how people use it. All of which has come in handy in my professional work.

I don’t know that I would recommend people get a philosophy degree if they want to make money (note that 75th overall ranking, there), but I certainly think over time I have gotten value out of my degree, and not just for the purposes of making money, although clearly it’s done okay for me in that regard. I mean overall quality of life.

So if you want to make money, go for Petroleum Engineering or an MBA. For the rest of it, including maybe some money on the side? Philosophy’s not so bad.