What is Industrial Organizational Psychology?
When you think of someone with a psychology degree, what do you picture? Is it a person sitting with a notebook open, taking notes as a client lies on a couch and shares about his past experiences? Or does a picture of your high school psychology teacher come to mind?
Therapists, counselors, and teachers are common career paths for a psychology major, but there are countless other fields and industries to which you can apply your studies of human behavior and the mind. A simple place to start is by pursuing an organizational or industrial psychology degree.
While most corporate employees are involved in the business end of creating and selling products or services, an industrial psychologist can work for a company and help them accomplish their goals from a psychological standpoint.
But what is industrial organizational psychology, exactly?
What is industrial organizational psychology?
A psychologist in the business world works with the end goal of improving performance and increasing productivity among employees. An industrial psychologist identifies patterns, curates strategies and applies new practices to help businesses, whether that be for those working in the office or selling products in the field.
Industrial/organizational psychologists use their knowledge in psychology to understand how consumers think. Ask any marketing guru, psychology is imperative for a strong marketing campaign. If a company employs an industrial psychologist to conduct consumer behavior research prior to developing marketing strategy, it will create new, more direct avenues and strategies for selling product to potential customers.
But that’s not all an industrial psychologist can offer. Within the walls of the office, a psychologist’s experience with human behavior will equip him to ensure that businesses are treating their employees well and fairly. It is no secret that companies with happy employees perform better than those who mistreat their workers, and industrial psychologists come in to ensure this is happening.
In a soundbite, the question, “What is industrial organizational psychology?” can be answered this way: It is the job of an industrial organizational psychologist to elevate and enhance a company’s overall performance by employing psychological analyses and solutions.
What can you do with an industrial psychology degree?
While it could be argued that every industry, every company, and every organization could use an industrial/organizational psychologist, here are some of the specific roles you can assume with an organizational or industrial psychology degree:
Human Resources Specialist
Why get an industrial psychology degree at a liberal arts institution?
A liberal arts education will equip you to pursue industrial and organizational psychology by exposing you to more than just psychology classes. In Consumer Economics, you will learn about supply and demand and what consumers are willing to pay for a product. In Current Issues in Historical Context, you will dive into past events to better understand the problems of today. These classes give you context and intellect that help shape and guide the work you do every day in a complex and changing organization.
This is what a Grace College education has to offer.
Between classes in your major and the liberal arts core, when you graduate from Grace with a concentration in industrial and organizational psychology, you will be prepared to positively impact a company from the inside out.
“Students with the industrial and organizational psychology concentration will be empowered to approach the business industry with the mindset of improving work environments and productivity,” said Dr. Kelly Arney, associate dean of the Behavioral Science Department. “This concentration is for anyone who is passionate about the intersection of psychology and business.”
Are you interested in combining psychology with business? Check out our industrial and organizational psychology degree and see how you can influence thoughts and patterns in the business world.