The Many Career Possibilities in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Earning a Master’s Degree in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology Increases Your Professional Value as You Help Businesses Become More Productive and Profitable

March 09, 2021
woman in corporate setting sitting with an employee
Industrial-organizational psychologists work in a variety of corporate settings.

If you’re looking to build on your bachelor’s degree in psychology or social science, consider a master’s in industrial-organizational psychology—and the many career opportunities that come along with it. Industrial and organizational psychologists focus on the behavior of employees in the workplace. They apply psychological principles and research methods to improve the overall work environment, including performance, communication, professional satisfaction and safety.

With an I-O psychology degree, you’ll put yourself in a position to make a real impact on issues like diversity, sexual harassment, gender and leadership, organizational justice and much more. Plus, an I-O psychologist who holds a master’s degree can make as much as $88,000 in their first year—eventually earning up to $150,000 or more.

If you want to earn a master’s degree that gives you the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others, the power to shape policies and change culture, and unlimited career potential—all while earning a high salary—then learn more about Touro College’s master’s in industrial-organizational psychology.

If you’re wondering what you will do with your new degree, here are a few possibilities:

#1 Organizational Development Professional

Nearly every company wants to streamline processes and operate in more efficient ways. An organizational development professional, also known as an organizational development specialist, is slightly different than a traditional HR professional. Instead of focusing on efficient ways to manage employees, you’ll actually work to improve the talent that works for your company and the systems your employees use by identifying and analyzing critical processes and then coming up with innovative ways to optimize their efficiency and effectiveness. Plus, you’ll also work directly with employees to ensure their well-being and maintain job satisfaction, productivity and performance. You’ll earn an average salary of roughly $80,000 and could earn as much as $100,000 a year.  

#2 People Analytics

If you’ve always wanted to work in HR but are more of a numbers person than a people person, then applying your master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology to a career in people analytics could be just the right fit. Workforce analysts make an average annual salary of $75,000—with earning potential of up to $95,000 per year.

Working in people analytics as a workforce analyst, you’ll track and analyze the crucial data that high-level executives and stakeholders use to make important business decisions. Then, you’ll present it to highlight key findings and assumptions and make suggestions for practical use. You’ll also use the data you acquire to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of strategic HR projects and processes, including benchmarking, organizational design, learning needs analysis, employee engagement and more.

#3 Organizational Psychologist Consultant

A great way to use your master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology while keeping your options open is by becoming either an internal or external consultant. Consulting as an organizational psychologist will earn you an average salary of $125,000—and depending on where you work, you could earn much more.

If you opt to work as an internal consultant, you’ll be employed by one organization and will work to make that organization run as efficiently as possible by examining and improving core processes (like employee development) so they better support business goals. As an external consultant, you’d likely work for a large corporation—so you could wind up in any industry helping with a wide variety of projects. Ultimately, your role will be to help build connections and relationships with executives across industries that you can use to support your work on organizational-related projects.

#4 Talent Management

As a talent manager, you could work for any organization in the world—be it a Fortune 500 company, a Bay Area startup, a hospital system, a professional sporting league or a nonprofit. Wherever you end up, you’ll be a key player in the organization, and you’re likely to earn an average salary of more than $129,000 annually.

Talent managers most commonly work with the HR department, where you’ll put your master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology to good use by tracking and filling all of your organization’s talent needs, handling internal hiring and putting systems in place that monitor the work performance of employees. On a higher level, you may be involved with designing and implementing leadership training programs and helping the leadership team to build succession plans to ensure your organization’s continued growth and success.

Whether you’re interested in helping companies create processes that improve employee happiness and productivity, or you want to use data to guide solid decision making related to growth and talent acquisition, earning your master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology will put you in a position for a high-paying career that’s also extremely rewarding.