Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Degrees and Careers

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists conduct research to better understand why workers behave in certain ways at work. They utilize their research to develop techniques meant to enhance productivity, assist managers assigning employees to project groups, and improve product testing methods.

Education and Training

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in industrial-organizational psychology. Most I-O psychologists with bachelor’s degrees specialize in human resources, but jobs opportunities are available in other fields. Those holding graduate degrees typically enjoy better job opportunities and earning potential.

I-O psychologists with master’s degrees are frequently employed by government agencies, human resources consulting firms, and private companies. Because many organizations now rely on I-O psychologists, more universities are administering I-O master’s degree programs. I-O psychologists with doctorate degrees occasionally get promoted to management and other high-level positions.

Typical Job Positions for Those with Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

  • Workforce Insights Analyst/Manager

    These specialists collect and analyze data to improve decision making, hiring, training, organizational development, performance evaluation, and workplace safety.

  • Evaluation & Assessment Analyst/Manager

    These specialists design and prepare evaluation plans for management, group projects, and other company initiatives.

  • Professional Development

    These specialists design and organize projects designed to support and develop workers. They also evaluate employee training programs and recommend changes to them when necessary.

  • Talent Management Specialist/Manager

    Talent managers develop and manage talent management programs intended to train supervisors and leaders. These specialists must understand what knowledge and skills managers should possess to excel at their jobs.

  • HR Organizational Development Specialist

    HR specialists are responsible for determining their organization’s current and future staffing needs. They also design and lead employee training and development programs.

  • Trainer

    Trainers consult with companies that want their employees trained. They frequently train employees in class and workrooms. Trainers also collect and analyze data.

  • Test and Measurement Specialist

    These specialists observe and interview workers to learn what type of skills are necessary for specific jobs. They also develop tests to measure employee aptitude and skills.

  • Organizational Effectiveness Director

    These specialists discuss goal planning and organizational development with executives and managers. After meeting with leaders, they develop plans to meet goals and train employees.

  • Senior Organization Development Advisor (also Career Planning)

    These specialists identify and recruit new employees and design staff training programs. They also organize and administer 360° tests, collect feedback, and organize training sessions.

Typical Job Positions for Those with Master’s or PhD Degree

  • Behavioral Analyst

    Behavioral analysts evaluate information from personality tests and worker performance sheets. They also evaluate performance, product, and retention tests.

  • Selection Systems Manager

    Selection systems managers design, evaluate, and improve retention initiatives intended to enhance employee retention for various positions. Additionally, they develop selection systems designed to meet organizational goals.

  • HR Practice Manager

    HR practice managers specialize in talent selection, performance management, and workplace diversity. They also train company managers and develop workplace diversity plans.

  • Research Analyst

    Research analysts evaluate data, organizational projects, training initiatives, and employment retention and recruitment programs. They also specialize in quantitative data analysis and research.

  • Professor

    Professors teach college-level I-O psychology classes. Many also teach statistics, social psychology, and general psychology classroom and online classes. Additionally, they typically conduct research.

  • Research Consultant/Senior Research Consultant

    These specialists assist managers responsible for organizing research projects. They also work closely with focus groups, project teams, and various other employees. Research consultants analyze data, make recommendations based on it, and write articles for academic journals and trade magazines.

  • Consultant

    Consultants typically run their own businesses or work for consulting firms. These specialists meet with executives and managers to discuss training and organizational development, labor issues, management changes, employee evaluation, selection, and recruitment, leadership, talent management, and issues related to employee pay and benefits.

Job Outlook

Demand for industrial-organizational psychologists is projected to increase at a high rate through the near future since more organizations are making efforts to enhance productivity and efficiency. Organizations will also hire I-O psychologists to implement anti-discrimination, diversity, and training programs.

Is A Career in Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Right For Me?

Consider whether you enjoy conducting research and analyzing data before selecting this career since I-O psychologists employed at consulting firms, government agencies, and universities typically conduct a lot of research. If you want to work individually with patients, consider counseling or clinical psychology careers.

Many people are drawn to I-O psychology because it encompasses concepts from topics in most braches of psychology, including experimental, social, and personality psychology. This is a great field for people interested in practical research.

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