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Is a philosophy major useless?

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floralbones floralbones NSW Posts: 3
1 30 Dec 2011
Off to uni next year to do a Bachelor of Arts && want to major in philosophy although it is stereotyped as a "useless degree/major". I am keen to do it but am I really running myself into a ditch? I don't know what I want to combine it with. Probably English lit. or sociology. Any thoughts?
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Jesse Jesse VIC Posts: 1117
2 30 Dec 2011
Unleashed Admin
Having any bachelors degree can be helpful. But it really depends what you want to do when you're finished.

I wouldn't call a philosophy degree useless. I think it would probably teach you more about how to critically analyse and think for yourself than many degrees. But I don't imagine it would open many doors that couldn't be just as easily opened by most other bachelors degrees. Having said that, if you're not sure what you want to do after uni and your passion is philosophy, then I'd study what interests you, because you'll do better at it and it'll probably bring you closer to doing something you find fulfilling.
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JMort JMort VIC Posts: 248
3 30 Dec 2011
Hmm, I think these days any Arts degree is considered 'useless' by the kids studying medicine, law, maths, engi or anyone in society so it's difficult to outrun that stereotype. Human domination complexes. But that's okay, I don't mind studying something 'useless' if I enjoy it (History). So like Jesse, I advise to do the thing you enjoy more than worrying about doing something other people think you should. Besides, we get to tell those law/engi/med/maths etc kids that we think their boring and we in turn, look down on Business students who have somehow found themselves at the bottom of the pile (at least in Tas) yet are the ones who leave and make a fortune so who really wins?

Someone has to keep philosophy going so why not you?
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Ashurii Ashurii SA Posts: 27
4 30 Dec 2011
If you are interested in the subject and have a plan for what you want to do with it after you have graduated then sure it is useful. It's what you make it.
I have a bachelor of Graphic Design and am currently working as a catering assistant in a hospital so essentially, I made my own bachelor "useless" by choosing not to pursue a career in it when I was done. I would rather be an illustrator but they are heaps of them... Plus I don't like being told when to draw and what to draw so I've kind of dug myself a hole there tongue
Just make sure this is something you are passionate about and that will lead you to an interesting career for you and you'll have no problems happy
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Homewrecker Homewrecker VIC Posts: 49
5 30 Dec 2011
To get a job - yep, pretty useless degree.

For personal learning and development - I'd guess that few degrees are more useful.

Combining it with another major sounds like the way to go. Probably sociology or something else with some sort of psychology element to it.
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Casper.s2 Casper.s2 SA Posts: 1640
6 30 Dec 2011
if you're getting a job by the book ` instead of just through what you're passionate about,
and aiming for what you have an aptitude for or are actually naturally suited to...

then sure... get some pre-requisite major ^_^

but it should be fun, anyway


or rewarding in some other way


Well actually TBH if you loved philosophy or were born that way inclined to wonder and ponder,
you'd avoid studying it like the Plague.
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PurpleFae PurpleFae NSW Posts: 283
7 30 Dec 2011
Not everyone gets qualifications just because it'll get them a job - whether it's their dream one or not.

If you're don't have a clear pathway in your mind yet for your future (and hell, even if you do, it can still change) like others have said, do what interests you *now*.

Regardless what you study, if you like it and try your best you will gain a lot of skills that can be used throughout your life - employment or otherwise. So no form of education is 'useless'.

I did a dual degree with two majors. One of my majors was software engineering. My other was film production as it is one of my passions. Everyone thinks I'm super smart just because it's a lot of study and that I'd be awesome in those related fields as my main career. But I'm going back to uni to do law instead. Ditching my 2 degrees, making them 'useless' to follow my passion in the degree I wanted to do in the first place (but couldn't as s*** hit fan in high school so my grades were too poor back then)! Plus, the classes I was best at were in technology and arts as a kid. Everyone expected me to do something relating to them. So I was felt pressured to do them at uni. I liked the fields but not as a long term career.

So end of the day - stuff those that say 'x' course is useless or that you can't do something in particular for whatever reason. You're the only one that knows what you want. It's not anyone else's right to make that call. Besides, you really do have time to change your path if you want. So don't feel boxed into the decision you make now. A lot of people get a bit scared about going to uni/ not going, dropping a course etc but just do the best you can with the information you have and your current situation. Usually it'll work out if you're honest about what you want to do. If not, you really still can turn it around anyway. Just takes a bit of extra time.
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Casper.s2 Casper.s2 SA Posts: 1640
8 30 Dec 2011
PurpleFae said:
Everyone thinks I'm super smart just because it's a lot of study and that I'd be awesome in those related fields as my main career. But I'm going back to uni to do law instead.
Law is for dummies stupid!



wink  *chuckle.

Yeah I meant, Philosophy can easily be useful for a job in any field,
as long as the person running that job or hiring you, sees your passion.
Plus the reasons why a show of passion and dedication,
is easily transferred to skills in any area... adaptability and ability to concentrate.


So unless you are going for something VERY typical,
and doing it by the book = This Degree is Needed for This outcome/avenue.

Then I don't see why it wouldn't be applicable to undertake a philosophy major,
though personally I think it would be rather boring, to learn how to think.

Or learning in psychology 'why people are sucked into these things'.

^         _        <


The existence of some jobs is rather ironical to the purpose of the subject you
study to reach them, considering they work in complete opposition sometimes,
to what is taught. For instance LAW... then you end up in some firm,
only interested in makin teh money, despite all you now know.

OR economics, to get the cheapest price possible and down turn for home economics wink.
Or accounting to help your new boss wrought the system WOOOO!!! LEARNING ROOLZZZ

Who could account for the economy prospering on surplus waste and excess,
but a business chump and the chump payed to postulate about what is occurring,
essentially their existing adding to that heap of rhetorical enumerations of false funds..
value and wealth, worth and quality are pretty much archaic words now, when all you need to say is Money. = waste x quantity / care factor inconstancy where waste > cfi which is the impression you get that your neighbour has cooler stuff than you + ailing sense induced necessities.
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april-san april-san QLD Posts: 368
9 31 Dec 2011
JMort said:
Hmm, I think these days any Arts degree is considered 'useless' by the kids studying medicine, law, maths, engi or anyone in society so it's difficult to outrun that stereotype.
I was in an accelerated Bachelor of Biomedical Science and wanted to be a doctor, because I figured that I should go for "the best". It turned out that university science is very different to high school, and I was studying biomed for the wrong reasons.

My real passion and skills lie in English, so now I'm in a Bachelor of Communication. My friends tease me for being a "pre-med dropout" and for doing an Arts program, but they tend to think that any study that isn't maths or science isn't on the same academic level.

Silly people - someone needs to proofread the research papers tongue

So don't listen to anyone who tries to put you down - make your own path, in your own way.
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Glen Glen VIC Posts: 337
10 1 Jan 2012
The philosophy staff at ballarat have made me feel more welcome than any other staff from any other faculty I've been in contact with... and the kind of thinking you're asked to do will change your life and you won't look at anything in the same way again.

I say do it... you won't look back. Screw the employability: do what makes you happy, because you certainly can't take phat pay cheques when you shuffle off your mortal coil.
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