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Why study philosophy, or for that matter go to college?

The benefits of studying philosophy
   Mid-career salaries by major (note the steep rise from starting salaries for philosophy majors). Latest data here
        A Georgetown study of salaries and unemployment by major (but lumps philosophy with religious studies, which has
         lower earnings in the WSJ table)
NOTE: read salary data about majors with caution. Graduates in a certain major may earn more because they tend to go to better colleges, seek higher-paying jobs, be smarter to start with, etc.--not necessarily because majoring in that subject improved their career prospects. Social work majors make less, but probably aren't trying to get rich in the first place. Many philosophy majors go into law, which may skew results upward
    The growing popularity of the philosophy major, New York Times
    Philosophers find degree pays off in life and work, also from the New York Times
    "I think therefore I earn"--more on the job prospects for philosophy majors
    Average GRE scores by major
    The value of a philosophy degree, by the London Times
    A non-philosopher reflects on his philosophy degree
    Philosophy isn't just for rich folks: a personal story
    Links on majoring in philosophy

The benefits of a liberal education (like the arts and sciences core requirements)
A great example of a liberal education: the curriculum at St. John's College (background). No majors, just the core!
    Video: what you can do with a liberal education (from the St. John's web site)
    The liberal arts as a bulwark of business education historically, the liberal arts were seen as the best education for business
    A liberal education is not a luxury a wonderful defense of a liberal education's intrinsic benefits

Many smart people don't go to college (though, unfortunately, many jobs needlessly require college degrees)
    The case for working with your hands. Book smarts are great, but often overrated. Here's why I nearly became a mechanic
    A follow-up article on people switching to manual trades. See also readers' comments on this and the previous article