Although bachelor's degree programs in organizational behavior studies are available, undergraduates can major in a related field, such as business, psychology, sociology or social work. After completing a bachelor's degree program, aspiring organizational behavior specialists can pursue graduate level study in the field. Though employers do not commonly require graduate credentials, this level of training is an employment asset for organizational behavior professionals.
Some hiring organizations may also prefer individuals with knowledge of Six Sigma methodology for improving organizational efficiency. Bilingual candidates are often preferred for international positions. Besides the common master's and doctoral degree programs, condensed organizational behavior certificate programs are also available.
In a 4-year degree program, students learn to analyze a workplace environment and offer plans to improve corporate culture. They may take classes in the following:
Some coursework for this subject may include:
- Workplace Safety
- Payroll Management and Diversity
Organizational behavior master's degree programs examine topics such as employee retention, productivity, diversity and management competence. Additionally, students learn techniques for interviewing, consulting, crisis management, team building and workplace performance improvement. They also learn to measure and analyze organizational results.
At the doctoral level, organizational behavior students take classes in sociology, business, psychology and human resources management. They learn to incorporate research and statistics for organizational effectiveness. Candidates for doctoral degrees must generally write a dissertation on a behavioral topic like the consequences of mergers on employees.
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Popular Career Options
Most jobs in organizational behavior management and consulting require at least five years of experience in change management, leadership development or a related field. After earning a master's degree in organizational behavior, graduates may find jobs as management consultants or analysts. Additionally, organizational behavior training often benefits logistics and operations managers, employee relations specialists, human resource managers and health care supervisors. Earning a doctorate in organizational behavior qualifies candidates for advanced careers in consulting, research and teaching.
Workshops and Seminars
Training institutes and business organizations, such as the American Management Association (www.amanet.org), often host workshops and seminars. Topics range from interrelational dynamics to workspace design and efficiency. Similarly, these organizations may post individual and series seminars on their websites for download. Longer conferences and meetings geared toward organizational behavior professionals are available through associations like the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society (www.obts.org).
Additional Professional Development
Because the academic discipline of organizational behavior involves research and analysis, new findings and approaches within the field are developed periodically. Established organizational behavior professionals can stay up-to-date on research in their field by subscribing to professional journals and other industry publications.
Graduate level degree programs in organizational behavior offer students the best job prospects for securing a job in the field. Organizational behavior is heavily research-based and professional development may require participation in workshops and seminars, as well as staying abreast on current industry findings.