Arts Emergency

Anna Shipman

Software Developer

When I decided to study Philosophy, people warned me that it would be no use in my future career, as one of the most impractical of the Arts subjects. They were wrong, it was fantastically useful. It taught me some invaluable skills such as critical thinking, logical argument, how to write well and succinctly, and how to reason about a problem from all sides. I learned about a broad range of subjects; history, science, literature. And most of all, it was really fun. When your essay titles are along the lines of “”Do we have free will?””, you can do a lot of your preparation in the pub with your fellow philosophers. Finding that fun in learning and using my knowledge has helped me learn more as my career has progressed.

I now work as a Software Developer. Two skills that I learned in my Philosophy degree have been particularly useful: the study of logic, and the skill of constructing a watertight argument – being able to think of all the angles and where things can go wrong is very useful when writing a computer program. Having a broader education in the arts also helps – after all, your users also have a very wide range of experience. I think I am a better programmer than I would be had I done Computer Science, and I think even if you think you might go into a scientific field, studying an arts subject at university will be incredibly useful.