Philosophy Alumni and Careers | Thiel College
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A philosophy degree is one of the most versatile college degrees, and one of the most practical. Philosophy majors are top-scorers on graduate entrance exams such as the LSAT and GRE and many philosophy majors apply their skill-sets to careers that demand a high degree of competence in analytic problem solving.

Common post-college options for our majors include law school and further graduate-level education in philosophy itself, or specialized certificate programs leading to careers in corporate or medical ethics. Some former Thiel College philosophy graduates are currently college professors, lawyers, clergy, business owners, accountants, and school teachers. By mid-career, philosophy graduates’ salaries are much higher than for most other majors.

Alumni Stories

Courtney Becker ’13

“Majoring in two completely opposite disciplines enabled me to train my brain to think in different ways. It has allowed me to think outside the box while wrestling with work issues. It’s also helped me to take a different approach to problem-solving in my career. Enjoy your time at Thiel and don’t take it for granted. Take every opportunity that Thiel gives you, and really enjoy making memories that are going to last you a lifetime.”

  • Major: Philosophy, Business Administration 
Jennifer Caldararo ’10

“Dr. [Jennifer] Griffin helped me figure out my career path and spent endless, patient hours as I panicked about my impending life changes post-graduation. Dr. [Matthew] Morgan taught me so much about myself, ethics, and life by pushing me beyond my comfort zone and believing in me when I thought I hit my limit. Dr. [Arthur] White refused to give answers to questions that had no right or wrong answer, despite my yearning to cleanly categorize life. Each professor complemented one another in their skills, knowledge, and support to create a blend of philosophy, ethics, and cognitive psychology.”

  • Major: Philosophy, Psychology
Brittany Chill ’08

“When I graduated, I had a triple major in business, religion and philosophy. It was philosophy that has helped me the most in my career and decision-making. After graduating from Thiel College, I accepted a management position in a retail store in Pittsburgh. I went from assistant manager to store manager within a year and a half. I credit a lot of that quick promotion to my ability to think critically and solve problems, which I believe came from my days of struggling with the hard questions and theories from philosophy. After working five years in management, I finally decided on the direction I wanted to take with my life—student affairs. Thiel played a huge role in why I chose this field—because I had such an amazing experience with the faculty and administrators at Thiel, I wanted to return the favor [to future students]. One of the reasons I studied philosophy is because I always had the need to question. Philosophy gave me an outlet through which to understand and process that. What I thought was a major that I chose because of personal interest ended up being something that has shaped my life. Thanks to philosophy, my ability to think abstractly, work through the tough stuff and be solution focused is what has gotten me where I am today both personally and professionally!”

  • Major: Philosophy, Religion, Business
Rich Heltzel ’09
Chicago, Ill.

“Committing to philosophy as a major was one of the most important decisions I’ve made and has contributed greatly to my career. My studies provided great depth and understanding in all aspects of my life. I applied my studies in philosophy directly to the business world, allowing me to think critically and solve problems in a unique way. I believe the study of philosophy is critical for success in the dynamic business landscape and allows students more insight and perspective into far-ranging social, environmental and ethical issues.”

  • Major: Philosophy

Ryan Hart ’15
Franklin, Pa.

“During my time at Thiel, I was given the opportunity take classes according to my academic interests in the spirit of a liberal arts education. An education at Thiel College was also unique in that I had the chance to cultivate personal relationships with my professors. In addition, cutting-edge research in neuroscience at the Greenville Neuromodulation Center, in conjunction with Dr. Erwin Montgomery’s scholarly work, demonstrated crucial practical applications of my field toward a greater future in medicine and the understanding of human beings. By being exposed to the literature related to my passions and the opportunity to learn from particular professors, I was capable of writing a senior thesis which supported my acceptance to KU Leuven in Belgium, a worldwide top 50 philosophy department according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject (No. 31).”

  • Major: Philosophy
  • Minor: Coaching, Religion, Medical Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion

Alison Kuder ’05
Greenville, Pa.

“[As] a student, people [often asked]: ‘What are you going to do with a degree in philosophy?’ My standard response was (and still is) ‘What am I not going to do with a degree in philosophy?’ I did not view my education at Thiel as a means of learning a trade, rather [to learn] how to think outside of the box, analyze and solve problems creatively. These skills were especially honed as a philosophy major and have served me extremely well in both my personal and professional lives.”

  • Major: Philosophy
  • Minor: English

Shea Maier ’13
Wellsboro, Pa.

“Thiel, as a liberal arts school, has enabled and encouraged me to take a wide array of classes. This ignited interests for me and allowed me to delve a little deeper. There is a greater opportunity [at Thiel] for one-on-one help between student and professor, and I feel that more gets accomplished because of that.”

  • Majors: Religion, Philosophy