The term philosophy means “love of wisdom,” which is essentially what philosophy is about—asking, answering, arguing questions to life’s most fundamental questions and truths. Philosophy’s history is an integral part of philosophy studies. The ideas of figures like Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Hume, etc., are essential to the study of philosophy. Programs in philosophy will be fascinating, especially to students who have a particular interest in the subject.
Erudera’s Complete Guide to Studying Philosophy
Studying philosophy enhances countless skills, such as communication, problem-solving, objective thinking, etc. A degree in philosophy prepares students for numerous career paths. Although one might think that the only career path a philosophy graduate can pursue is teaching, the truth is that the skills students learn during their philosophy studies enable them to undertake a wide range of careers.
Erudera’s complete guide to studying philosophy lists just a few of the many reasons students should choose philosophy. This study field is captivating because it enhances the ability of in-depth thinking, asking important questions, and reasoning. Contrary to popular belief, a philosophy degree can be pretty lucrative; however, the earning potential depends on the career path.
How Much Do Philosophy Majors Earn?
Since philosophy majors can choose various career paths, the average annual salary depends on the industry. Other factors, such as professional experience, country, and company, play an important role as well. Generally, the average salary for philosophy majors, depending on the career, can range from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. For example, philosophy professors, who must be in possession of a Ph.D., earn around $70,000 per year, writers earn around $61,000 per year, human resources managers earn about $106,000. In comparison, market research analysts earn around $62,000.
Reasons to Study Philosophy
1. A Captivating Field of Study
Philosophy is a fascinating field of study because it deals with a deep understanding of general and fundamental questions related to existence, reasons, mind, values, etc. Students of philosophy engage in asking, answering, and evaluating such questions, in an attempt to understand themselves and the world around them. So, if you find yourself excited to explore some of the following questions posed by philosophers, you will likely enjoy your philosophy studies.
- What is it to be a human?
- Is there a meaning to life?
- What is the human mind?
- Are emotions irrational?
- Is morality relative?
- Is happiness the most important purpose in life?
- What is the best sort of life to live?
2. You Gain Research and Analysis Skills
One of the top reasons to study philosophy is that you will gain research and analytical skills. You will be able to get information, organize it, and do research in various fields. As a philosophy student, you will learn how to put the problems in front of you in a manageable way. You will develop your research and analytical skills by learning how to formulate your ideas, figure out what is relevant and what is not, and determine how to be objective while doing research.
3. You Get Introduced to Interesting Courses
Your philosophy degree program will introduce you to a wide range of interesting courses. You will learn about theoretical philosophy, including metaphysics and epistemology, practical philosophy (ethics, aesthetics, social and political philosophy), the history of philosophy, logic, etc. Some courses explore the works of famous philosophers, religion, mathematics, the human mind, to name a few. Boredom is not an option during your philosophy studies.
4. Versatile Career Paths
Becoming a philosophy professor is not the only career path a philosophy major can choose, but it is one of the options for those who like teaching. Philosophy majors can pursue a career in numerous fields, like journalism, public relations, social service, law, medical management, business, government service, etc. Philosophy majors have the kind of profile that employers of many industries value.
5. You Gain Writing and Communication Skills
Philosophy students learn how to think their ideas methodically and put them on paper. Philosophy focuses on argumentation, questioning, and logic, thus providing you with the skill of placing well-thought-out and organized arguments in writing as well as in everyday conversations. During philosophy studies, you develop your creative and critical thinking skills, which help you write and communicate effectively.
How Long Does a Philosophy Degree Take?
An undergraduate degree in philosophy can take an average of four years of full-time study to complete. The duration of a philosophy bachelor’s program can be either three or four years, depending on the higher education institution. While you can pursue your bachelor’s degree in a matter of four years, if you wish to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy, you will have to commit another two years to a further study of philosophy. Considering many master’s students are already working full or part-time during master’s studies, the pursuit of the degree may take up to four years for those who cannot fully devote time to their studies.
On the other hand, a doctoral degree can take anywhere from five to ten years to complete. A Ph.D. in philosophy makes you eligible to undertake roles as a university professor. A doctoral program requires extensive research and even teaching positions as part of the program.
Top Countries to Study Philosophy
Here are the top countries to study Philosophy:
Universities like the Australian National University, Macquarie University, the University of Sydney, and Monash University are among the top universities to study philosophy in Australia. Being among the top countries to study philosophy, Australia provides quality education and countless chances to advance. International student tuition fees in Australia are higher than domestic fees. For example, the indicative tuition for international students at the Australian National University is approximately US$31,318 per year.
2. United States
The US is the top study abroad destination globally, and it features countless universities ranked among the top when it comes to the study of philosophy. Such universities include New York University, Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, Harvard University, and the University of Notre Dame, to mention a few. Studying philosophy in the US will place you in a multicultural environment of like-minded students, where you can get an in-depth understanding of the program’s courses offered by excellent professors.
3. United Kingdom
The UK also has some of the best universities in the world to study philosophy. The University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Cambridge, and King’s College London, are just four of the many outstanding British universities. Although international students in the UK must pay higher tuition fees to pursue their philosophy studies, the degree programs UK universities offer are comprehensive and efficient when it comes to obtaining skills, finding employment, and simply being successful career-wise.
Apart from being one of the most affordable countries to study philosophy (most public universities in Germany are tuition-free), Germany also has its share of top universities to pursue your philosophy degree. Universities like the Humboldt University of Berlin, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Goethe University Frankfurt, and the Free University of Berlin, amongst others, are renowned for their philosophy courses, innovation, and excellent quality of education.
You can choose from a variety of philosophy programs in Canada and benefit from the academic quality higher education institutions in the country offer. In addition to having quality education, Canada is one of the best countries for quality of life. Whether you are part of small or large campuses, you will find a welcoming and diverse environment of students from around the world. The University of Toronto in Canada is exceptionally esteemed for its philosophy programs.
How Much Does a Philosophy Degree Cost?
The cost of a philosophy degree will vary from one country to the other as well as from one university to the other. Studying philosophy at one of the many private universities in the US can cost up to $51,925 in tuition fees per year. In contrast, tuition fees at public universities in the US are around $30,000 per year for out-of-state students. If the US is not your study destination, you will find similar tuition fees in the UK, as well. The University of Oxford charges international students around £37,510 ($52,129) per year in tuition fees for undergraduate programs.
Among the popular study abroad destinations, Germany, France, and Spain have some of the most affordable tuition fees. Undergraduate programs at most German public universities charge no tuition fees, apart from an administrative fee. French higher education institutions charge up to €3,000 ($3,600) in tuition fees for international students in undergraduate philosophy programs. Tuition fees are similar in Spain as well; however, international students usually pay higher tuition fees in Spain.