When it comes to choosing a career path, your decision should come down to two aspects: passion and opportunity. Unfortunately, we can’t determine the first for you. But luckily, we can let you in on a well-known secret regarding the latter. The field of Industrial Organizational Psychology, or I/O psychology, is currently teeming with an array of attractive opportunities in the areas of employment and human resources for international students. After all, there’s a reason it landed on Money Magazine’s top 50 best jobs list!
Unlike traditional “shrinks” who often work with mentally unhealthy individuals, I/O psychologists focus their attention on matters pertaining to employee management, fair and effective hiring practices, and organizational development – all activities that assist organizations to run more smoothly. And although their most dominant educational part lies within psychology, many combine aspects of sociology, mathematics, communications, and/or management as well.
The I/O psychologist’s role within public and private organizations alike is growing increasingly valuable, shown by the rise in average salary in recent years. As applications increase and many firms face limited resources due to economic strain, it is becoming utterly essential for businesses to streamline HR practices. After all, the best way to ensure an organization’s success is to confirm that they’re employing the most effective practices with the most qualified staff!
Consequently, firms around the world that are facing such uncertainty have found that I/O psychologists are great to have on board! Having transformed into the Superman of the HR field, they offer solutions by implementing effective employee selection practices and technology, providing statistical analysis of workplace programs, developing operative employee training, and advising management on the effects of non-HR policies on organizational behaviors. Such activities provide the essential backbone from which all other departments may operate successfully.
But that’s not the end of the employment opportunities today’s I/O psychologists have! Some find it most enjoyable to work internally, as a regular part of their firm’s long-term workforce, taking part in a variety of HR aspects. Others find that operating externally as a consultant provides greater diversity, allowing them to work with numerous firms for short durations over the course of their entire career. However, as opposed to internal I/O psychologists, consultants typically focus on one specific area for improvement.
Thus, if you’re tempted by the smorgasbord of options and possibilities (as you should be!), take some time to investigate. The prospects really are endless. Yet regardless of which of the countless opportunities you could pursue in the area of I/O psychology, one thing remains the same: being such a critical contributor to an organization’s continuing success is immensely rewarding in and of itself.
This piece was contributed by Gerad Hoyt, a community engagement specialist with Chequed: Employment Testing and Screening technology.
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