Training Versus Educating In Regards to a Career
Note that the abilities and values developed in these disciplines are needed in an economic career as well. So, the study of Religion and Philosophy prepares a student for many kinds of careers. It also prepares one for encountering change and therefore for changing careers; after all, for many people it is less and less likely that they will have the same job for more than a few years. No doubt this is why business leaders regularly point out that they most need workers with these abilities and values.
The head of the US Chamber of Commerce several years ago said that what the business community needed from schools was not students with specialized knowledge of a job but rather students who know how to communicate, think well, imagine, serve and lead well. Business, he said, felt that it could train a person to be a worker, with the specialized knowledge needed for the job — and train a person better than schools could. But, he went on, what business knows it could not do, and what the schools could and should do, is to educate (versus train) someone to function well as a person.
Barry Bingham, the former editor and publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal, put it succinctly: "I regard a good humanistic education as the best possible training for a newspaper career. Courses in the techniques of journalism can be helpful. The bedrock, however, is a sound training in the humanities." The New York Times Business Section, on Dec. 26, 1997, said that philosophy majors do better in the job market than most majors in the arts and sciences: "Apparently people in the real world think philosophy majors are well trained. They are trained to think, to analyze. They express themselves well. They write." Similarly, religion majors learn to consider the world through the eyes of other people, especially as that world shapes their sense of meaning — what matters most to them. By understanding one of the primary human motivators, we understand people better; and understanding others is essential to both our careers and our lives.
Barry Bingham, "A Journalist Looks at the Humanities", in The Humanities and the Understanding of Reality, ed. Thomas B. Stroup (University of Kentucky Press, 1966), p.75.
Thinking About Taking the GMAT or LSAT?
There are still more reasons to study Religion and Philosophy, including the sustained success that majors have had on standardized tests for professional schools, such as the GMAT (business) and the LSAT (law). Then, too, professional schools, such as medicine and law have increasingly sought students from the humanities, particularly those with challenging majors. These schools recognize that a broad liberal arts education is the best preparation for professional study.
Here is one example:
"In assessing a prospective law student's educational qualifications, admissions committees generally consider the chosen curriculum, the grades earned, and the reputation of the colleges attended. They also view favorably scholastic honors, awards, and special recognition. Solid grades in courses such as logic, philosophy, and abstract mathematics are generally considered a plus. [. . . ] [L]aw schools will respect your pursuit of subjects you find challenging. This is especially true if the courses you take are known to be more difficult, such as philosophy, engineering, and science. Also, look for courses that will strengthen the skills you need in law school. Classes that stress research and writing are excellent preparation for law school, as are courses that teach reasoning and analytical skills."
from "Education," from the The Council on Legal Education and Opportunity, American Bar Association.
For more reasons to study Religion and Philosophy, visit these websites: