Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs were designed to enhance a student’s research skills and ability to examine human functions in the workplace. This professional brings significant contributions to a successful business by helping to develop and retain talent, recruit, coach, and train. All of these functions within a business form crucial components of the operation. Students in industrial organizational psychology programs learn how to use psychology methods to better manage a business by preparing them with industry and academic, real-world scenarios. In many instances, a student may decide to specialize in a specific area once he begins independent research. The student may decide that training staff is of particular interest and therefore will spend more time understanding how to design and develop effective curriculum to change behaviors. Another student may have an interest in recruitment and look at various ways an organization can hire the right talent. A student may concentrate in the following specializations: worker productivity, human-computer interactions, or human factors – which include workplace safety, ergonomics, and product design.
For those students who have had some work experience or are currently employed, they will have an advantage in the highly competitive job market. Employment in this field is plentiful and expected to grow. Careers may be found in private industry, consulting in a variety of industries, government, and academia. Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs prepare students for a potential career in marketing research, job analysis, or human resources. For example, a position as a human practice manager will focus on the workplace and assessing human interactions.
This person may develop diversity plans, coach leaders, and implement succession plans. The average annual salary for a human practice manager is about $121,000 a year. This level of income would typically go to someone who has a PhD degree and experience in the field. Another highly paid and respected profession in this field includes professors. These individuals will, once again, have a PhD, earn about $72,000 a year, and be responsible for educating students on industrial organizational psychology principles. Research consultants assess staff through interviews, focus groups, or projects and then through statistical analysis present conclusive results with recommendations. Annual earnings for a research consultant averages about $88,000 a year. Two other positions for which a degree in industrial organizational psychology prepares the graduate are a behavioral analyst and a selection systems manager. A behavioral analyst assesses employee behaviors, retention, and performance and then develops technical reports for the leaders of an organization to review. The results of these reports could be enlightening, sometimes being the first time management has reviewed feedback and data on their organization. It is not necessary to have a PhD to practice as a behavioral analyst, and the average salary is ranges from $55,000 – $82,000 per year.
Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs will train a selection systems manager to be able to design effective selection processes in an effort to reduce turnover and retain talent. The average salary for a selection systems manager averages about $85,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an industrial organizational psychologist is $114,000. While some graduates are able to practice in the field with just a master’s degree, a doctorate in the same area of study will earn an individual approximately $16,000 more a year.
Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs are based on academic research and applied statistics and provide the student with a background in consumer, industrial, and social psychology. Upon completing the degree, a graduate will be primed to provide business consultation and will be equipped to improve the operations of a business. The ability to scientifically assess a workplace, to collect data, and analyze information in the workplace is vital. Industrial organizational psychologists concentrate on psychological theories as well as the application of those theories in a business.
Industrial-Organizational Psychology Online Courses
Industrial psychology is an area of psychology that focuses on increasing workplace productivity and issues that involve the physical and mental well-being of employees. Often referred to as “I/O” psychology, it applies theories and principles within an organization and studies workplace behavior and attitudes to evaluate companies and leadership. This field is rooted in experimental psychology with three different sub-areas: human computer interaction, personnel psychology, and human factors. Human factors involve workplace safety, product design, and human error. People interested in computers, statistics, engineering, workplace diversity and performance, employee motivation and testing, and applying psychological principles to real-world settings are best suited for this career.
To prepare for this career, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology or a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology is required for students interested in an online industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. degree.
Being that a Ph.D. will bring the greatest career opportunities, the curriculum is research-based with a solid understanding of the functions of industrial and organizational psychology. The program is intensive and upon completing the program, the graduate will be able to communicate various psychological research methods to contribute to the profession and make real change to organizations and human development. A Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology consists of courses in personnel psychology, human performance, assessment and feedback, personality theories, work motivation and job attitudes, and the history and systems of psychology. Most programs will require ninety eight credit hours and a dissertation. Most programs will require one-on-one interaction with doctoral faculty and some form of residency requirement. T these requirements will apply to any degree program whether the courses are taken online or face to face. Students who decide upon online studies will still be required to fulfill all course requirements including three- to eight-day residencies in perhaps a city other than their home town. The student will also learn how to use a variety of online research tools and an online university library.
Developing an understanding of the historical, philosophical, and scientific foundation of the different systems and development of the discipline in psychology are examined. Online course competencies include analyzing theories of psychology for validity and situational applications and justifying human cognition and behaviors. The industrial organizational psychology student should be able to differentiate among the various schools of psychology, such as Gestalt psychology and behaviorism as well as have a strong understanding of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Online studies will include courses in voluntarism, structuralism, functionalism, and applied psychology. Researched-based studies in humanistic psychology versus biological perspectives of psychology are examined.
Work motivation and job attitudes form important courses in the industrial organizational psychology degree because they address the main goal and objective on which this profession is based. The student will examine different theories of human motivation and how job attitudes influence behavior. Course studies will teach the student strategies for increasing motivation and enhancing employee job attitudes and will look at the consequences of organizational stressors. The student will study how to measure attitudes and behaviors, cognition, and emotions. Personal needs, values, and personality traits are examined, as well as 20th century motivational theories and future areas of research and practice.
The I/O psychologist will need to be aware and prepared to respond to behavioral problems or issues in the workplace surrounding recruitment, selection, development, succession planning testing, separation from the firm, and training for employees, managers, and executives. The I/O student will learn about selection tools, psychological testing, data collection techniques, legal and ethical issues, selection and recruitment strategies, and review research on employee selection and development.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs: PhD
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future employment outlook for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists should increase by 11% through the year 2018. Employment for industrial organizational psychologists should grow by 26% for this same time period, and all other fields of psychology should increase by 14%. This news is especially exciting for people who are currently practicing in the field because it will mean new opportunities and advancement. For those people considering entering the profession, they should have a good chance of finding gainful employment. This increase in the psychology profession is partially due to businesses and governments seeking ways to improve employee productivity, increased awareness in substance abuse, and emotional and mental issues accompanying the return of our military from the war overseas.
Psychology graduate programs are also experiencing an increase in enrollment as they prepare students to understand the human mind and behavior. This profession is critical to helping people and businesses overcome challenges they may face; therefore, the training psychologists receive is broad and rigorous. Most psychologists will need to be educated on management, law, and education issues, as well as content specific to their area of focus. Their inherent skills must include an interest to understand the functioning of the human mind, desire to learn new methods and skills on an ongoing basis, strong communication skills, and trust and respect for individuals and the organizations they serve.
While there will be variations in psychology curricula, there are also differences in working conditions for each specialty. For example, a child psychologist who works in a hospital or other health facility will usually work shifts, weekend, and evening hours as opposed to a school psychologist or industrial organizational psychologist who will typically work normal daytime, work week hours. Psychologists and counselors in their own private practice will be able to set their own hours.
Psychology graduate programs will provide the knowledge and skills a student needs from a practical standpoint; however, having a degree is only the first step to working in the field. Most professions, such as clinical psychologist and school counselor, will require a graduate degree and enough work experience to qualify for a professional license. Full licensure is a prerequisite to legally practicing as a psychologist or operating a private practice. All programs last from four to seven years full-time study. Most degrees require an extensive internship and supervised postdoctoral work.
The industrial organizational graduate degree will require the student to conduct research, write a dissertation, and practice in real businesses. Students with prior work experience will have an advantage by encountering real-life scenarios, as opposed to students who have not had significant employment. This program will teach the student about the attitudes, motivations, and behaviors in the workplace. A lot of the research the student will read, write, and evaluate will be based on real-life scenarios in the workplace. These studies will be instrumental in psychologically assessing the situation to diagnose a solution to the problem. Most accredited psychology graduate programs include topics in the theories of teamwork, job analysis, and advanced cognitive research methods. Theories of teamwork addresses different theories of teams and how to apply them to enhance collaboration in a workplace. Job analysis is mainly research-based and helps students learn how to perform evaluations, determine compensation, and conduct training. Training in cognitive research teaches the student about information processing and human cognition. Other courses the student may take in an industrial organizational psychology program focus on how to analyze a business to alleviate internal issues and the development and execution of training programs.