Thursday, August 30, 2012

Philosophy And Physics Are The Highest-GRE-Scoring Majors

Via Physics Central, I'm proud to link to the new pdfs laying out the best majors in terms of GRE scores: philosophy and physics.  Of the four dozen majors surveyed, the physicists tied with the mathematicians and mechanical engineers for being the best at quantitative reasoning, while the philosophers are the best at verbal reasoning and analytical writing.  Both philosophers and physicists perform very well at the other field's specialty as well.  This is basically how the results have turned out for the last several years.

I don't know whether we philosophy professors are actually making our students better at verbal reasoning and analytical writing, or whether we simply attract the students who are best at those things. My guess is that both factors play a role.  I don't know which one is bigger.

But the next time you hear people talking about how we should promote the STEM fields -- I think it's science, technology, engineering and math -- you might want to suggest modifying it to the STEMP fields.  Uh, I guess that's not as good an acronym.  I guess you could do TEMPS, but that's not exactly the career that our top college graduates are aiming for.  Clearly this is what's holding philosophy back.  
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