If you are deciding between majoring in business administration or philosophy, you might want to know more about what each major has to offer. This post will show you the key facts about each major and help you to decide which would be a better degree for you.
At a glance:
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
It can be difficult to find
a job with just a bachelor’s
degree in philosophy.
The major can become
more employable if
combined with a more
Can be a good pre-law
|A general degree. This can|
make it difficult to qualify
for specialized jobs that
Can improve your job
prospects by double majoring with
something more specialized
such as finance or computer
Source for business administration salary and jobs
There are a number of things to consider when choosing between the two degrees. Below, are details about each major, their differences, and reasons to choose one or the other.
Details about a Philosophy degree
Below are some of the key details involved in a philosophy degree.
According to Payscale, the average pay of someone who has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy is $70,000. However, it is important to be aware that the average will be being increased by people who also went on to get more advanced degrees.
According to the BLS, the median salary of someone with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy was $54,000 in 2018. The average salary across all majors was $59,000 so this suggests that philosophy majors earn less than most other majors.
According to the BLS, typical jobs people with a philosophy degree get includes:
- School administrators
- Service managers
- Chief executives
You’ll see that many of the jobs, on the list, require an advanced degree. As a result, with just a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, you will likely have a hard time when seeking a job. The reason for this is likely to be that the major will not feature many technical classes that are directly employable.
This means that philosophy can be a good major if you plan on getting an advanced degree, especially in law. It also means that, if you major in philosophy, without planning on getting an advanced degree, it will be important for you to take more technical electives, that are directly employable, otherwise you might have a hard time when seeking a job.
Also, according to this data, the philosophy unemployment rate is 6.2% and the underemployment rate is 50.9%. Whereas, the unemployment rate, across all majors is, 3.9% and the underemployment rate is 42.9%.
Philosophy is a major that will require a lot of dense reading where you will be reading dense texts about philosophy. You will also be writing a lot since you will have to summarize arguments made by authors and provide your response. As a result, you can expect philosophy to be a major that will require a lot of study time. When compared to humanities majors, you can expect philosophy to be more difficult. When compared with most STEM majors, you can expect philosophy to be slightly easier depending on your own strengths. When compared with a business administration major, you can expect philosophy to be harder.
Classes in a philosophy major can include:
Introduction to philosophy
You can see an example degree sequence here.
Things to consider
Philosophy can be a good degree if you are planning on going to graduate school. Philosophy majors typically perform very well on exams such as the LSAT and the GRE. As a result, if you are planning on going to law school, philosophy can be a good option.
Another thing to consider is that there will be lots of dense reading and writing. This means that it is important that you have good reading and writing skills. If you do not, you will likely have a very hard time in the major.
Philosophy is a useful degree in life, in that it will help you understand people’s arguments and to think logically, but it lacks technical aspects. People will often argue that critical thinking skills will help in getting a job. However, technical skills are also important and a philosophy major lacks in technical skills unless you take more applied classes in your electives. This is why an undergraduate degree in philosophy alone can be difficult to find a job with.
With that being said, philosophy can be a very good minor when combined with something more employable at the undergraduate level such as computer science.
If you do major in philosophy, it is important to minor in something more employable such as computer science. This is so that you will have some technical skills that you can use to help you when seeking a job.
Details about a degree in business administration
Below are some details about a degree in business administration.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a degree in business administration is $66,127.
A business administration major will have you taking classes in a range of disciplines including: business, finance, accounting, and economics. As a result, a business degree is a somewhat general degree that is not specialized on a particular type of job. This means that the degree can qualify you for a large amount of jobs. However, you will often be less competitive than people who have degrees related to that specific job.
While it can be difficult to compete with people who have degrees related to specific job roles, you can improve your job prospects by getting internships, completing projects and learning skills related to the specific job that you are interested in.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can include:
- Project Manager
- Marketing manager
- Account manager
- Operations manager
- Financial analyst
Overall, a business administration degree will usually be relatively easy when compared with alternative degrees such as finance, economics and accounting. The reason for this is that, being a general degree, you will not be taking many specialized classes that tend to be more difficult that other majors would include in their junior and senior years.
Classes you can expect to study
In a business administration degree, you can expect to take the following classes:
You can also expect to have the option to take other business classes as your degree requirement and the ability to take any classes in your electives. It would help to consider what job you are most interested in and to choose your electives accordingly.
If you are interested in a business administration degree, there are some alternatives that you might also want to consider such as:
Things to consider
As mentioned above, a degree in business administration can be quite general which can make it difficult to qualify for specific jobs. With that being the case, it would likely help a lot to minor in another field that is more specialized such as finance, accounting, or computer science. A double major would also be an option if you are willing and able to put in the extra time. Alternatively, you could major in the more applied major and minor in business administration instead.
Regardless, you will be able to drastically improve your job prospects if you learn skills related to the job you are interested in, take classes related to the job you are interested in, complete related projects, and get internships in that field.
Reasons to choose a business degree
A business administration degree can qualify you for a number of different jobs, but they will not pay as well as alternative majors such as finance, accounting, or economics.
If you do decide to get a business administration degree, it would help a lot to make sure to take classes related to the job that you are most interested in, to learn skills related to that job, to complete related projects and to get internships during the summer. I would also strongly recommend that you consider at least getting a minor in a more applied subject such as computer science or finance since it will improve your job prospects considerably.
It would serve you well to really take the time now to research the types of jobs you think you would be interested in and what sorts of classes you should be taking for those jobs. One thing that could help would be to talk with recruiters for that job role and to ask what they look for in terms of classes, projects, internships, and the most common major.
Reasons to choose philosophy
While there are alternative majors that can give better job prospects, at the bachelor’s degree level, there are still some reasons why you might want to choose philosophy.
If you are sure that you want to get into law school, then philosophy can be a good major since philosophy majors tend to do the best on the entrance exams.
If you want to go to graduate school for philosophy, then a philosophy undergraduate degree can also be appropriate.
However, in both cases, it is important to remember that you might change your mind half-way through the major. As a result, it would be worthwhile to minor in something more technical, such as computer science, so that you have something to fall back on if you do change your mind.