Advanced training programs, such as two-year master's degree programs in consumer psychology, are designed for people working in the field. They emphasize seminars covering specific topics related to marketing and consumer retention. To enroll, you need a bachelor's degree in a related field. As part of the master's program, you may be required to write a thesis and/or complete an internship. Areas of specialization within the program include research methods, marketing and consumer habits. After completing the degree, graduates are often prepared to work in the field of market research.
Master's Degree in Consumer Psychology
Consumer psychology master's degree programs may be found as standalone programs or as a concentration within an industrial and organizational psychology program. These programs place a heavy emphasis on research and analytical skills to examine how people think about and are influenced by the products in their day-to-day life. Classes cover factors that influence consumer spending such as ethnic and economic factors. Other coursework includes subjects such as:
- Consumer behavior psychology
- Research survey methods
- Organizational psychology
- Brand image
- Target markets
- Motivating consumers
- Decision making psychology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted there will be a 20% employment increase for market research analysts between the years 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS listed the median salary for market research analysts and marketing specialists at $63,120 annually as of May 2018.
There are very few Ph.D. programs available specifically in consumer behavior; however, individuals interested in continuing their education in this field may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. These programs often require applicants to have a master's degree in a related field prior to participating in the program. Doctoral programs place heavy focus on independent research and analysis and are designed primarily for those who intend to pursue careers as college professors or in advanced research.
A consumer psychology degree teaches students about the behavior, spending habits and other aspects of the typical consumer. This enables graduates to find careers in market research and other fields where knowledge of customer mindset is essential.