What You Should Know About This Degree
Within the field of psychology, industrial/organizational psychology is somewhat unique, as for most jobs, a master’s degree is a sufficient level of education. However, if at any point you want to become a licensed psychologist, you will need to obtain a doctorate degree in psychology. States issue clinical psychology licenses, and most states mandate that individuals have a doctoral degree as a prerequisite for licensure.
Many I/O psychologists work within the human resources departments of companies, or as independent HR consultants. There is overlap between I/O psychology and human resources, but the two fields have some key differences. As you consider your education options, it’s worth exploring whether an advanced degree in I/O psychology or human resources more closely aligns with your interests and career goals.
If you’re interested in enrolling in an online program, you should review the curriculum carefully, as some online programs still have in-person requirements for on-campus orientations, seminars, or practicum experiences. It’s important to be aware of any in-person commitments, and confirm that they fit into your schedule and budget.
There are no mandatory certifications for I/O psychologists, but students and professionals can join the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) for networking, career development, and scholarship opportunities throughout their education and career.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Masters Organizational Psychology programs:
- Does this program offer the concentration I want? Some programs offer more focused concentrations within the organizational psychology field, such as coaching and consulting, occupational health psychology, or international business. Consider whether you have an interest in specializing, and be sure to select a program that will allow you to do so.
- Is this program available part-time? This is a particularly important consideration for in-person or hybrid programs, and individuals who are working or have other commitments. Carefully review the program’s schedule to ensure that it fits with your lifestyle and availability.
Also be sure to review the admissions procedures for programs, including eligibility requirements and deadlines. This will help make your application process go smoothly. Financing your master’s education is another important consideration. Talk to the program about scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits.