What can you do with a business psychology degree?

Written by serena cassidy
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What can you do with a business psychology degree?
I/O psychologists combine research and psychology practices in the workplace. (Girl on her workplace working image by Angel_a from Fotolia.com)

Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists apply principles of psychology and research methods to the workplace. Graduates with a degree in business psychology (i.e., industrial/organizational psychology) generally work in two areas: as professors or researchers in an academic setting, or as consultant/on-site workplace practitioners in a specialised area.


I/O psychologists work in fields such as human resources and personnel development, business and organizational management, management consulting, and social and behavioural sciences. Consultants generally work on contract and are independent of the organisation, while on-site practitioners are employed by a business or organisation as staff.

Academic positions

A graduate with a master's or Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology can work as a university professor or teacher in areas such as psychology (including consumer or engineering psychology), industrial relations, organizational behaviour and organizational management. The graduate may also conduct research, design experiments (both those inside the laboratory and those that are community based) and supervise university-based research projects.

Practictioner positions

Industrial/organizational psychologists can also provide human resources planning; behavioural, organizational and personnel management; management consultation advice; and behavioural science research in the areas of personnel development, organizational development and planning, management development, employee relations, affirmative action and fair hiring practices, employee training and professional development. I/O psychologists working in this sector may also work in management positions such as director of human resources, vice president of personnel development or as part of a human resources staff for a public, private or non-profit organisation.

Career prospects

According to the National Careers Service, consultancy psychologists can earn up to £80,000 per year. Career prospects in this field are listed as growing at least as fast as the average job rate. Graduates with a master's degree or Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology will have more job opportunities than those with only a bachelor's degree.


In 2013, the National Careers Service reported that Psychologists in the UK earned between £25,500 and £34,000, but more experienced practitioners make about £40,000 per year. On average, practitioners earned more than academics: I/O management and consulting psychologists earned the highest average annual income.

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