Graduates with industrial organizational psychology degrees help businesses and organizations manage a wide range of human resource issues. Offering insight into recruitment, assessment, and training, this psychological field increases overall productivity as it develops individual workers. With its focus on motivation and leadership, industrial organizational psychology helps human resources professionals and other managers meet their organization’s goals and achieve its mission. People with expertise in industrial organizational psychology are increasingly sought after by businesses that realize how valuable their contribution can be.
Bachelor of Science in industrial and organizational psychology programs typically take four years to complete. Students should expect to have two years of general education courses, and another two years of courses tailored to the degree. Commonly, both psychology and business courses comprise a significant amount of the curriculum. Graduates should expect to find work in employee recruitment, selection, and development.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology?
During the most recent recession, those who had the toughest time finding work had the least education. In 2012, people whose highest degree was a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 8.3%; this was nearly 20% higher than the national average of 6.8%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a bachelor’s degree only had an unemployment rate of 4.5%, one-quarter less than that of people with an associate degree. Clearly, the time and money required to earn a bachelor’s degree are worthwhile investments.
Getting Into an Industrial Organizational Psychology Bachelor’s Program
Most programs offering bachelor’s of industrial organizational psychology degrees share the following prerequisites:
- Sufficient high school grade point average (GPA) – typically at least 2.0
- High school diploma
- Letter of intent
- Letters of recommendation
Inside an Industrial Organizational Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Program
Students seeking an industrial organizational psychology bachelor’s degree should expect to take general education courses during the first two years of study. Mathematics, history, writing, and natural science courses are all typically required. Basic business courses in economics and accounting are also commonly taken during this time, as well as at least one introductory psychology class.
Beginning in the third year, students will primarily take courses in their major field. Research methods, evaluation, and industrial organizational psychology classes will usually be taken; specific instruction on worker assessment is also a major component of these programs. In some cases, classes in the university’s business school will also be required; students should expect to study finance, business law, and human relations; other common business courses include systems design, strategic management, and marketing.
What’s Next for Industrial Organizational Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in industrial organizational psychology should expect to find work right away. According to the BLS, jobs in workforce training and development are expected to grow 15% through 2020; although some individuals with bachelor’s degrees can become managers earning a median salary of nearly $90,000, most managerial positions require a master’s degree. Nonetheless, those who choose to become human resource specialists are also able to quickly find work, and earn a median salary that exceeds $50,000.
Because of the great opportunities for those in industrial organizational psychology with master’s degrees, many students choose to go straight into an online program. The typical master’s degree will take approximately two years to obtain. With the advanced degree, students receive specialized instruction enabling them to take positions of even greater responsibility within organizations and businesses. Master’s degree holders can take positions as compensation and benefits managers, earning a median annual salary of nearly $90,000. Similarly, human resource management positions are also expected to grow through 2020; these professions earn a median salary of nearly $100,000.