New Website Challenges Myth by Showing that Philosophy Majors are Well-Employed and Make Money--A Project of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life

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Philosophy professor launches site to change the dialogue about philosophy.

Parents of college students everywhere fear their kids will one day say, “I’m thinking of majoring in philosophy.” Visions of unemployment and a lifetime of “do you want fries with that” fill their heads. But now, a professor of philosophy has come forward to alleviate those fears with a new website, outlining the benefits of a philosophy education. is a clearinghouse of evidence demonstrating why philosophy is a competitive — and important — major. Its students develop key employable skills and land great jobs with impressive salaries. Why?

“Because in philosophy, students learn to think, argue, and attend to details,” says Jack Russell Weinstein, PhD, professor of philosophy at University of North Dakota and the website founder. “I was tired of people thinking of philosophy as a punch line, and dismissing our students’ records of success. It was time to change the dialogue.”

Weinstein has already seen almost 25,000 hits in the few weeks since the site went live. “I really feel I’ve hit a nerve,” he adds. “I think there’s a lot of interest out there in philosophy—it certainly doesn’t deserve the rap it gets. And now I’ve aggregated all the reasons why it’s, well, a great major.”

A study by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that in 2015, just five percent of philosophy majors were unemployed six months after graduation — a percentage that has been decreasing for years. A philosophy major has the same rate of return as an engineering major— and in fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, philosophy graduates are predicted to be the top paid humanities major for 2016.

“Philosophers are living and working amongst us — in fact, some famous philosophy majors include comedian and actor Steve Martin; PayPal founder Peter Thiel; LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffmann; Supreme Court Justice David Souter; award-winning essayist and filmmaker Susan Sontag; and basketball coach Phil Jackson,” adds Weinstein. “And let’s not forget actor Ricky Gervais, director Ethan Coen and Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek. When you look at the list of famous philosophy majors, you see that, perhaps more than any other major, they can do anything. Business, technology, law, the arts, even sports—philosophical skills transfer to any career.”

Weinstein is also the host of the radio show and podcast “Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life,” now in its eighth year; and director of The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life, a non-profit dedicated to connecting non-philosophers with professionals in the field. He is also a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Dakota and the author of three books. is the source for everything philosophy majors need to soothe anxious parents.

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