UNO Philosophy Mavericks ask the big questions. The study of philosophy is an attempt to understand the world in as unified and general a way as possible. Philosophers want to know what there is, how beliefs are justified, how we should live, what is good, what is immoral, whether or not there is a God, and, especially, how all these things fit together. The methodology of philosophy is applicable to any subject matter whatsoever, since it involves careful reasoning, precise application of logic, and thorough analysis of concepts.
Why is Philosophy such a useful major? Studying philosophy translates into skill sets that employers consider valuable. According to a 2015 study of salary and undergraduate majors by Payscale.com, Philosophy majors nationally had higher than average median starting salaries ($42,200) and mid-career salaries ($85,000). These median salaries are higher than in many other popular majors including Communication, Criminal Justice, and Psychology.
Philosophy students are also well-prepared for professional and graduate programs in a broad range of areas. In the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), philosophy students perform better than those in all other fields by a wide margin. In the Verbal Reasoning section and in the Analytic Writing section of the GRE those intending to major in Philosophy did better than those in all other subjects. In the Quantitative Reasoning section those intending to major in Philosophy did better than all other non-scientists. Philosophy majors consistently do well in the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) and have a higher rate of acceptance at law schools than any other major.
According to the 2015 AAC&U survey, "Employers prioritize liberal and applied learning for all college students."
91 percent of employers said that, “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate major.”
In addition, employers "endorse broad learning as essential to long-term career success."
- "When hiring recent graduates, employers place the greatest priority on a demonstrated proficiency in skills and knowledge that cut across majors. Of 17 outcome areas tested, written and oral communication, teamwork skills, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings are the most highly valued by employers."
- "Confirming findings from four previous national surveys extending back to 2006, employers overwhelmingly endorse broad learning and cross-cutting skills as the best preparation for long-term career success. When asked in the latest survey, only 15 percent chose fieldspecific learning alone as the best preparation for long-term success."