What is an Industrial-Organizational Psychology Degree Good For?

Those who work in industrial-organizational psychology jobs focus on the vital link between productive, happy employees and profitability. Expertise in the field is important to business executives who understand this essential connection between satisfied employees and business success.

Industrial-organizational psychologists (I/O psychologists) specialize in understanding how employees relate, communicate, and collaborate, with each other and management. They also identify ways companies can improve how they select, train, manage and develop employees. I/O psychologists also harmonize methods of improving employee morale with strategies that increase productivity.

Entering this challenging, important field of work requires earning a Master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Graduates from the program apply their knowledge to solving important workplace issues surrounding human behavior.

What Is Industrial Organizational Psychology?

The specialized branch of psychology emerged over the years to directly focus on the behavior of employees in the workplace. I/O psychologists apply psychological theory and research methods to the workplace, assessing worker productivity, company culture, and employee morale.

They may research issues such as how companies assess job applicants and current employees. Industrial-organizational psychologists may also focus on developing leadership, staffing policies, team productivity, management strategy, workplace safety, professional satisfaction, and diversity.

Wherever they place their focus, the goal for those who work in industrial-organizational psychology jobs is to improve workplace productivity while creating a better environment for employees.

Businesses also use the expertise of I/O psychologists to design more efficient workplaces, create better training programs, and develop hiring strategies that match employees and company culture.

Potential Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

By earning a master’s degree in I/O Psychology, graduates are ready to take on leadership positions and use organizational psychology in the workplace to improve employee wellbeing and company profitability.

This has led to career opportunities across every industry. I/O psychologists apply their research and expertise in various settings, from manufacturing and private businesses to labor unions, hospitals, and other health care facilities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual salary for I/O psychologists in May 2020 reached $112,690. Some of the top jobs in the profession include the following:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Workforce Insights Analyst
  • Executive Coach
  • Management Consultant
  • Recruiting Manager
  • Behavioral Analyst

Those working in I/O psychology typically focus on one of six categories. They include employee selection, ergonomics, organizational development, performance management, training and development, and work-life balance. They may also focus on product testing with focus groups helping companies glean useful insight from the group’s feedback on a product or service.

What You Learn in an I/O Psychology Master’s Program

Touro University Worldwide designed its online Master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology to develop graduates with a detailed understanding of applying psychological science to help organizations function more effectively. The program is consistent with values and guidelines from the Societies of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Human Resource Management, and Consulting Psychology.

The graduate program’s curriculum includes 36 credits in 12 courses, nine of which are core courses. Students also choose three courses in one of three concentrations: Coaching and Consulting, Human Resource Management, and Occupational Health Psychology.

The core courses cover the fundamental knowledge students need to succeed in the I/O field. Courses include:

Organizational Theory and Behavior

This course explores classical and contemporary theories of how the psychology of individuals and groups shapes the behavior of employees. Students also explore the impact of organizational structure and processes on performance.

Developing High-Performance Teamwork

This course explores the best practices for team leadership, collaboration, conflict resolution, and productivity and how to apply them to improve teamwork.

Facilitating Organizational Change

Students learn the concepts and tools used to manage change, stimulate innovation, and improve processes. They will know how to apply these concepts to make processes more effective and efficient.

Students leave the graduate program with knowledge of the latest theories in organizational and leadership psychology and how to apply them to real-world business challenges. They can also conduct independent research to identify and solve problems related to processes, management, leadership, and communication.

For those who aspire to practice in this important field, a master’s degree will open the right doors. Students leave the program with the skills needed to practice I/O psychology at the highest levels. Graduates emerge armed with expertise that will support both a better bottom line for businesses and higher job satisfaction for employees.

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