Industrial organizational psychology is the area of psychology focusing on workplace behaviour. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial organizational psychology jobs are predicted to grow by 26% from 2008 to 2018. Those desiring to work in the field of industrial organizational psychology can choose from a variety of careers.
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If you possess a master's degree in industrial organizational psychology, teaching college-level courses is a career option. Industrial organizational psychologists typically teach courses for the psychology department or teach human resources or organizational behaviour courses for a college's business department. Either full-time employment as a college professor or part-time work as an adjunct faculty member can be found.
Your expertise in industrial organizational psychology could translate into a position as a consultant/trainer, where you would offer evaluation and training services to organisations. Companies hire consultants for specific tasks such as improving employee productivity or conducting training workshops on a variety of topics, such as leadership development and workplace discrimination. Both full-time and part-time job opportunities exist, either within a consulting firm or through self employment as the owner of a consulting business. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is typically necessary to work in this area.
Employee Relations/Human Resources
Bachelor's level or higher industrial organizational psychologists can find employment as a member or director of a company's employee relations or human resources department. Your duties would involve executing human resource functions such as employee hiring, promotion and firing. Resolving problems among employees or between employees and management is an additional duty included in this position. Full or part-time work can be found in this career path.
The job of an industrial organizational psychology researcher can involve researching workplace practices or functions to determine what is most effective, or could involve development of surveys to determine employee or customer satisfaction. Researchers may work within a company's research department, or could work independently on a contractual basis for one or more companies. A bachelor's degree or higher, with extensive knowledge of statistical methods, is needed for this career path, which can be full or part time.
Industrial organizational psychologists with a doctoral degree can work as an expert witness for legal cases involving a variety of issues, ranging from racial discrimination to sexual harassment. Expert witnesses are hired by the defence or prosecution in a case to review a company's policies, procedures and actions as they relate to the employee in the case, and give their professional opinion on whether the company's actions were justified or not. Industrial organizational psychologists working as expert witnesses can choose to work either part time or full time, depending on the number of cases they acquire.
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