Unlocking the Power: Why You Should Consider Hiring Philosophy Graduates

Unlocking the Power: Why You Should Consider Hiring Philosophy Graduates

by Stephanie Dillon
January 31, 2024

A philosophy graduate can help you unleash your true potential as a business leader — and help you take your business to new heights.

Recently, someone asked me what I have my degree in. When I said "philosophy," they told me I have a vanity degree. 

This misperception, unfortunately, isn't uncommon, especially in business. In a world driven by numbers, a world where the bottom line is seemingly always top of mind, the value of a bachelor's degree in philosophy when it comes to business leadership can be unclear. It's often seen as a pursuit of abstract knowledge that's detached from the realities of the business world. However, this couldn't be further from the truth — and if you're a business leader looking to hire talent, there are several reasons why you should consider candidates who studied philosophy. 

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills 

At the core, philosophy is the art of asking fundamental questions and analyzing complex problems. It hones your ability to think critically, dissect arguments and explore alternative perspectives, which are all skills that seamlessly translate to the business world. 

 In business, leaders frequently face multifaceted challenges. Philosophy graduates on their teams can be major assets in helping them solve those challenges. These graduates can swiftly identify underlying assumptions, recognize biases and objectively evaluate information to make informed decisions, mitigate risks and devise innovative solutions to intricate problems. In a rapidly evolving business landscape, these abilities are invaluable.

Ethical Decision-Making

Business leaders are constantly confronted with ethical dilemmas. Whether they're choosing between short-term gains and long-term sustainability or navigating corporate social responsibility, business leaders have to make ethical decisions that serve their employees, customers, investors, shareholders and communities. 

A philosophy degree prepares people to grapple with ethical theories, moral principles and value systems. It equips them with the skills to navigate the complexities of ethical dilemmas and make principled decisions that align with the greater good. With this ethical grounding, philosophy graduates are uniquely positioned to guide companies while upholding integrity, transparency and social impact — fostering trust internally at the organization and externally between the organization and its various stakeholders. 

Effective Communication

Effective communication can make or break a company. It takes just one poorly articulated point to unroll chaos and depending on the nature of the business, put peoples' lives at risk. 

Philosophy students learn how to articulate complex ideas, construct well-reasoned arguments and engage in thoughtful dialogue. These communication skills directly translate into the business world, where effective communication is essential for leading teams, negotiating deals and more. Philosophy graduates are able to persuasively present their ideas and engage in meaningful discussions, nurturing collaboration and driving organizational success. Additionally, they also tend to have great listening skills, cultivated from long philosophical discussions in the classroom. Those great listening skills enable them to understand diverse perspectives and bridge gaps in understanding between different team members.

Adaptability and Resilience

The business world is rapidly evolving; in some industries, the very nature of how people work is changing. Philosophy graduates are particularly prepared to weather those changes. 

The study of philosophy exposes people to a wide range of philosophical ideas, theories and schools of thought. As people learn about the subject, they become adaptable and resilient, able to embrace change, challenge their assumptions and navigate uncertainty. By bringing those skills to the business world, philosophy graduates can think outside the box to help companies navigate disruption — and come out on top. 

Big-Picture Thinking

In business, details and the bigger picture matter. But sometimes, in the course of focusing on the details, business leaders forget the bigger picture. 

Philosophy encourages people to think beyond the surface level and critically examine the bigger picture. It puts forth a holistic approach to problem-solving; people have to take into account historical, cultural and societal factors. Thanks to these broader perspectives, philosophy graduates can anticipate trends, identify emerging opportunities and develop long-term strategies. Moreover, because they understand how various factors are interconnected, they can better balance the interests of all stakeholders as they help leaders make decisions.

Philosophy Degrees Are Not a Mere Indulgence in Abstract Thought

The next time you're sifting through resumes and see that someone has a philosophy degree (be it a bachelor's, master's or Ph.D.), avoid the urge you might have to brush that candidate off. Consider taking a deeper look at the candidate's knowledge, skills and experience. Philosophy majors have made a major impact on the business world. For instance, the founder of Slack, Stewart Butterfield, has a bachelor's and master's in philosophy. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, has a master's in the subject. A philosophy graduate can help you unleash your true potential as a business leader — and help you take your business to new heights. 

For the full article, visit: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture-council/articles/unlocking-power-why-you-should-consider-hiring-philosophy-graduates-1234956773/?fbclid=IwAR2JN42nkh8fZ1QMHpv84mI6ICCWGD7-qh39uz5GUfV6IcfP4LgyqY6THBM?sub_action=logged_in