Industrial Psychology Graduate Programs with Career Information

Industrial psychology is the study of typical workplace concerns and problems, such as personnel selection, performance evaluation and job satisfaction. Industrial psychologists need at least a master's degree to meet employment requirements.

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Essential Information

Industrial psychology master's and doctoral programs teach conflict resolution in dysfunctional workplaces and improvement in productivity and quality of work life. Graduates with a master's degree may be more involved in working with clients to solve, for instance, personnel problems that hinder the work flow. Doctoral programs are more research-oriented and involve gathering and analyzing data. Licensing requirements for industrial psychologists vary, and graduates should check with the state in which they wish to work. Applicants to master's degree programs will need to hold a bachelor's degree in psychology, while doctoral programs ask for a master's degree in the same subject. Completion of both degrees takes two years (74 graduate credit hours) and requires relevant practical field experience and a thesis with an original research project.

Master of Arts in Industrial Psychology

Some of the concepts that are covered in an industrial psychology master's degree program are group behavior and organizational psychology. Students acquire research and consulting skills. Along with several courses in the social sciences, an industrial psychology degree program emphasizes quantitative research methods. Some examples of course topics other than Industrial Psychology are:

  • Organizational psychology
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Organizational development
  • Research methods
  • Competency analysis
  • Workforce theory

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Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

A doctoral degree in industrial psychology gives students a deeper understanding of topics such as organizational behavior, social psychology and group conflict resolution. The research component is magnified, involving actual clinical testing, statistical analysis and courses on multiple research methods. A Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology focuses intensely on advanced research and statistical analysis. Examples of some of the courses in this degree program are:

  • Statistical methods
  • Research methods
  • Quantitative methods
  • Psychometrics
  • Personnel evaluation and testing

Popular Career Options

Industrial psychologists select, train and mentor job applicants. They also perform analyses on organizational development. An industrial psychologist may be hired by company management to act as a consultant to solve a productivity issue or a conflict in the workplace. Some job titles for graduates of industrial psychology programs include:

  • Human resources consultant
  • Personnel selection consultant
  • Organizational researcher
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Psychology professor

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the 2014 reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for industrial psychologists is on the rise (19% growth from 2014-2024) as competitive businesses turn to psychological experts for advice on workplace productivity and retention rates. The BLS stated that the mean annual salary for industrial psychologists is $92,320, as of May 2015. The three industries that pay industrial psychologists the most are architectural, engineering, and related services; management of companies and enterprises; and management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

An industrial psychology graduate may find work monitoring the organizational and productivity aspects of businesses, whether that is through being a HR representative, workplace coordinator or in the context of managing job applicants. Degree programs in this area teaches students about social psychology and how to properly collect and analyze relevant data.

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