Industrial-Organizational psychology leads to rewarding job and career options throughout a wide range of companies, organizations and industries. Some of these industries are already booming, while routinely facing known challenges; they require the services of expert individuals in helping people to overcome those challenges constructively. I-O psychology also prepares one for a career in many emerging industries,which are presently in a state of rapid growth. Within these niches, individual organizations can benefit from a professional psychological viewpoint on how to face previously unencountered problems and work out efficient and lasting solutions.
The first step on the industrial-organizational professional’s career path is often that of an analyst. This is a position which relies heavily upon analytical skills, critical thinking, efficiency expertise, and ethics. At this level of employment, specific job opportunities within both the public and private sector are numerous, and most of these lead to management and executive opportunities down the road. These positions are well-compensated at the entry level; they require the ability to remain calm and productive under pressure, but are usually focused on the establishment of individual relationships and relatively small-scale solutions.
For the career-minded, the path of the I-O psychologist offers numerous opportunities in the private, government, and academic sectors. A business, or any other organization, depends substantially upon the health and happiness of its employees. As an organizational psychologist, you will be involved in developing programs and strategies to improve workforce morale and streamline conflict resolution, both of which are hugely important aspects of maintaining efficiency and productivity within an organization.
Human Resources Management
A professionally accredited I-O psychologist is an excellent candidate for work in human resources, and will be widely sought-after for the fast track to management. As a human resources manager, you can expect to have high-level input on hiring policies and job performance assessment. Your skills will be called upon to balance the needs of the employee with the required standards and efficiency of the organization, on a scale that may affect hundreds (or even thousands) of individual workers. This is a well-compensated position, often leading to further executive opportunities and preferential hiring by lucrative firms.
Academic Department Head
As with government and private sector jobs within the industrial-organizational field, academic positions involve a steady rate of advancement. There are suitable positions from the instructional level to the executive, with many deans, college presidents and chancellors possessing expertise within the field of I-O psychology. Industrial-organizational psychology is one of the most sought-after accreditations for advancement within this career path. Ethics, communications skills, and the ability to develop efficient and effective educational strategies are all critical to this level of responsibility.
The position of consultant is often the end goal of the I-O psychology professional. Whether you’re working for a firm (a frequent intermediate step) or operating as an independent professional, you will move throughout a wide range of industries and organizations, possibly including a mixture of the public and private sector. This growing position commands high wages for its associated expertise in conflict resolution, the development of intuitive employee training methods, and the promotion of a healthy workplace environment.
For More Information
In a world of increasing corporate and government presence throughout daily life, career opportunities for the industrial and organizational psychology professional are many. They are also extremely varied. For further information, consider the resources here for students seeking to become professional I-O psychologists.