Industrial organizational psychology integrates traditional psychological methods and human resource management. The insights provided by this field help managers and supervisors make better choices when selecting candidates, assessing work and developing talent within an organization. By improving motivation, industrial organizational psychologists also increase productivity. This exciting field is growing quickly as organizations avidly snatch up qualified graduates.
Why a Ph.D.?
Most industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. programs take four years to complete. Frequently, students take a full load of coursework during the first three years. At the doctoral level, nearly all of the coursework is taken in the major field of study, although most programs allow students to explore other fields with electives. With the field’s strong focus on research, a doctoral dissertation is universally required prior to graduation.
Inside an Industrial Organizational Psychology Ph.D. Program
Programs offering a doctorate in industrial organizational psychology are universally rigorous. Students should expect to spend three years taking challenging courses that cover various aspects of industrial and organizational psychology. Legal and ethical issues in psychology are also covered. Organizational development, diversity in the workplace, and career development are frequently required courses, and many students also take specialized courses in leadership, motivation, talent management, assessment, work-life issues, and career development.
Doctoral students should anticipate thorough and detailed instruction on both qualitative and quantitative research methods and design. Statistical modeling, factor analysis, linear models, and survey research will certainly be covered. While completing their coursework, students design an independent research project that will form the basis of their doctoral dissertation. After they successfully defend their research design in a dissertation proposal, students complete their doctoral dissertation. Typically, the last task of the doctoral student prior to graduation is a dissertation defense.
What's Next for Industrial Organizational Psychology Ph.D. Holders?
With a Ph.D. in hand, industrial organizational psychologists can take top positions in a number of fields. Those who take positions as compensation and benefits managers expect to earn median annual salaries in excess of $108,070. Others who work or consult in workplace training and development can expect to earn a median wage of $101,930. Both of these fields are expected to grow through 2024.
Some with a doctorate in industrial organizational psychology take positions as human resources managers, earning a median wage over $100,000. Others decide to put their hard-earned research skills to use by conducting research and publishing the results in scholarly journals. Those who choose to go into academia and teach or conduct research at the university level can expect to earn a median wage just over $70,000.