A significant number of our graduates obtain well-paying jobs in biomedical research, government, banking, social media, and similar areas. The key to this success lies in the role played in our program by the discipline of ontology, a branch of philosophy that is making a significant contribution to information and data science.
We have built the world’s only philosophy PhD program which allows a focus on ontology, both theoretical and applied. Graduates of this program are employed in a variety of fields as senior ontologists. This puts them in a position to influence hiring decisions in the future.
The 2023 average salary for an "ontologist" according to SimplyHired is $92,631. The salary range is between $54,723 and $156,799. Starting salaries for UB PhD graduates from our ontology program can reach as high as $175,000.
Jobs for ontologists are often posted on INDEED.
The job responsibilities of an ontologist can include:
One of the hottest jobs: Ontologist (Prediction from the Eckerson Group)
All indications from former UB students and collaborators working in the ontology field suggest that this prediction will continue to hold in the future:
"In most organizations, there is a growing disconnect between machine learning algorithms and corporate knowledge. This disconnect is an example of a more general problem in artificial intelligence (AI). As articulated by DARPA, when machine learning algorithms are not guided by relevant domain knowledge, whether for banking, insurance or automated driving, they can generate false outputs, sometimes catastrophic. It’s critical to connect algorithms and data processing with rich, inference-ready knowledge (a.k.a. ontologies) that is independent of any particular representation in databases, file systems or other data management systems. Leading companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Nike, are posting job openings for ontologists. There is a particular interest in people with skills in semantic technologies, such as OWL, SPARQL, and knowledge graphs. Some far-sighted companies that understand the importance of corporate knowledge might even hire a Chief Semantics Officer."
—Erik Thomsen, Senior Consultant, Artificial Intelligence, Eckerson Group
I trained my son’s classmate on BFO, and he got a high-paying job at Amazon. Amazon asked me to brief them last week re: BFO and the orders of reality, consistency across, etc. Word is they really liked it ..."
—UB Philosophy Alum, November 8, 2021