How to Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree: Career Services and the Liberal Arts

From New York Times Magazine.  

Ostensibly a profile of Andy Chan, Wake Forest’s VP for “Personal and Career Development,” this article suggests a conversation about the role of career services in the context of liberal arts education. On the one side is the idea that pairing vigorous career services with liberal arts has three results: 1) students DO major in liberal arts subjects, 2) they get jobs, 3) donors (especially parents) love it. On the other is the concern that “[i]t reduces an education to the marketplace.”  The comments on the article make for interesting reading.

How to Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree


Published: September 13, 2013

On a Friday in late August, parents of freshmen starting at Wake Forest University, a small, prestigious liberal-arts school in Winston-Salem, N.C., attended orientation sessions that coached them on how to separate, discouraged them from contacting their children’s professors and assured them about student safety. Finally, as their portion of orientation drew to a close, the parents joined their students in learning the school song and then were instructed to form a huge ring around the collective freshman class, in a show of support. 
For years, most liberal-arts schools seemed to put career-services offices “somewhere just below parking” as a matter of administrative priority, in the words of Wake Forest’s president, Nathan Hatch. But increasingly, even elite, decidedly non-career-oriented schools are starting to promote their career services during the freshman year, in response to fears about the economy, an ongoing discussion about college accountability and, in no small part, the concerns of parents, many of whom want to ensure a return on their exorbitant investment.

See Also

Website of the Office of Career and Personal Development at Wake Forest

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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