Psychology remains one of the most popular majors for college students today. But what can you do with a psychology degree after graduation? Individuals with specialized degrees, such as industrial and organizational psychology, are more employable. The specialty of industrial and organizational psychology is popular, growing quickly and lucrative.

Many organizations seek industrial and organizational psychologists to increase productivity, improve hiring and implement training. I/O psychologists often work in human resources departments, ensuring employee communication is clear and morale is strong.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that positions for I/O psychologists will increase 53 percent by 2022. However, it remains a small specialty. BLS projections show that 2,500 of the 178,900 total psychologists in the United States will be industrial and organizational psychologists.

Trends in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Problems in the workplace can often be traced back to training, employee morale, communication issues or gaps in training. An industrial and organizational psychologist’s job is to prevent such problems.

To boost productivity, more businesses are hiring I/O psychologists either full time in human resources or are tapping those who work as consultants. The increased use of technology has dramatically changed the landscape of the work environment for many businesses. Because of telecommuting and the ease of working from home, new and different work-related problems are cropping up. The virtual workplace requires different kinds of communication and employee-management tactics. Industrial and organizational psychologists study these trends, how they relate to human behavior and best practices for companies.

In virtual workplaces, I/O psychologists can help employees manage work-life balance. The lines of home and work are being blurred by the increased use of technology. This presents problems for productivity that an I/O psychologist can help employees and managers address.

I/O psychologists are also hired to design and implement cost-saving training and recruitment programs and events that involve technology instead of face-to-face meetings. The programs can be used more than once without the need for change or improvement, which saves the company the trouble and cost of hiring a facilitator or planning a session. I/O psychologists research and practice the best ways to engage and educate employees and administrators concerning these methods.

Many employers are becoming more engaged in the health and wellness of their employees. I/O psychologists believe that happy and healthy employees lead to more productivity, better time management and clear communication practices. A company may hire an I/O psychologist as a consultant or keep one on retainer in order to perform sessions and surveys about health and wellness in the workplace so that issues can be alleviated or solved.

Many I/O psychologists study the best marketing tactics and practices. Human behavior encompasses a variety of topics. How a potential customer or audience member reacts to marketing can be incredibly important data for an organization to have. I/O psychologists who focus on marketing study topics like effective advertising to human reaction to images or words.

A degree in Masters of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology can help prepare you to take on the training, maintaining and boosting employee moral and best hiring practices. All of these skills will enable you to work as a Human Resources Specialist or Consultant in Human Resources.