Top Careers for People with Industrial and Organizational Psychology Doctorates

  • Individual assessment and psychometrics specialist
  • Research
  • Academia
  • Human resources
  • Organizational culture specialist

There exists a variety of different career paths a person with a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology can pursue upon graduation. Indeed, these five specific career areas continue to need skilled I-O Ph.D. professionals in different locations across the United States and even elsewhere around the world.

Related resource: Top 25 Campus-Based Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master’s Degree Programs

1. Individual Assessment and Psychometrics Specialist

In basic terms, an I-O psychologist with a Ph.D. working in the field of individual assessment and psychometrics is involved in the measurement of individual differences. Psychologists in this field perform individual assessments as a means to evaluate candidates for employment. They also perform these assessments among existing employees to ensure proper placement within an organization. This type of I-O professional may be on the staff of a larger business enterprise or may work independently.

2. Research

A notable percentage of individuals with a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology pursue careers in research. Research is pursued in a number of different settings, including colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies (including the military), and large business enterprises or corporations.

3. Academia

Another rather significant percentage of people who obtain a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology pursue careers in academia. Some of these individuals teach. Other do research as referenced a moment ago more broadly. Still other people who earn a Ph.D. in this arena focus on both teaching and writing.

4. Human Resources

A significant cohort of women and men who earn a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology work in the field of human resources in a number of different ways. These professionals may end up working in human resources departments of larger business and governmental agencies. When it comes to the government, this does include branches of military service.

5. Organizational Culture Specialist

Another area in which a person with a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology works is as an organizational culture specialist. A career in this field involves researching and analyzing the values, understandings, beliefs, knowledge, and other intangibles of an organization. This research has the objective of translating these intangibles into a shared, cohesive sense of organization among employees of a business, members of an organization, and so forth.

Professionals pursuing careers in industrial and organizational psychology form a tight cohort of psychologists. Indeed, at this time in the United States, there are recognized to be less than 1,000 people with doctorates in industrial and organizational psychology that truly are working in some aspect of this field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most people in careers associated with their doctorates in industrial and organizational psychology work in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California.

The Bureau reports that this profession will expand somewhat in the coming decade. With that said, it nonetheless will remain a truly specialized field in the broader psychology profession.