What Careers Involve Debating?

Politicians debate during campaigns and throughout their office terms.
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Great debaters -- those people who are fulfilled and energized by the thrill of debating -- master the art of delivering well-researched, intricately constructed arguments in a persuasive and rational manner. They also accurately gauge their audience to know when an emotional appeal is the best approach, think quickly on their feet and can readily respond to the opposition’s position. And there are several career choices that allow great debaters to indulge their passion.


    Lawyers handle legal disputes on the behalf of their clients, usually presenting compelling arguments to sway judges or juries. They frequently argue with opposing counsel, and refute the testimony of witnesses during cross-examination. Lawyers may use their debating skills in criminal and civil trials, lawsuits, appeals and other legal matters. The educational requirement for lawyers is graduation from law school with a juris doctor or J.D. degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also notes that requirements may vary by state. The median annual salary for lawyers is $112,760, reports the BLS.


    A career as a politician is another choice for those with excellent debating skills. Politicians argue, dispute and oppose the policies presented by their opponents in an attempt to gain votes and please their constituents. In fact, their very election to public office is based on presenting a more compelling argument than the other candidates. The BLS states that there is no educational requirement to be a politician, and salaries vary greatly, ranging from some small-town politicians who don’t receive a salary, to members of Congress, who earn $174,000 annually.

Philosophy Professor

    Philosophy professors can indulge their desire for debating in several ways. They often participate in academic debates sponsored by their schools or other educational institutions, in addition to publishing articles and books in which they argue their philosophical points of view. In addition, they teach their students how to analyze philosophical arguments and recognize faulty reasoning. Postsecondary teachers earn a median annual salary of $62,050, and the educational requirement is normally a Ph.D in philosophy, according to the BLS. However, some schools hire philosophy teachers with a master's degree -- especially in part-time positions or at two-year colleges.

Broadcast Sports Analysts

    In addition to analyzing and interpreting data, broadcast sports analysts often engage in lively debates with guests and co-workers. From critiquing polls and other forms of rankings for players and teams to arguing why certain coaches should be fired or hired, and to disputing the salaries and athletic abilities of players, these debaters express their views in newspapers, magazines, Web, radio and TV audiences. The median annual salary for broadcast analysts is $36,000, reports the BLS, and the educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree, usually in journalism, communications or a related field.

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