In Fall 2019, Sacred Heart University launched its new master’s program in industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology and it was met with great success. The program director and assistant lecturer, Mary E. Ignagni, said interest in the field has continually grown over the past several years and the program — which was once offered as a track — is now a full-fledged degree taught by experienced faculty.
In this program, students learn how to help workplaces across all industries increase efficiency and employee satisfaction using psychological principles. Read on to learn more about this particular discipline within psychology and about the growing need for experienced professionals.
What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?
“Industrial-organizational psychologists bring a lot to the table,” Ignagni said. “We work with human resources to ensure processes are done fairly, and we use research and statistics to show how things should be done.”
Industrial-organizational psychologists can help a business in a number of ways, such as ensuring employee satisfaction. For example, they determine if an employee’s skills match up to the job and, if that’s not the case, they find the right position for that employee within the workplace or ensure the employee receives training to do the job effectively.
Ignagni said there are misconceptions about I/O psychology, including the thought that it’s only for big businesses. That’s not the case. “Any type of organization that has employees can benefit, from a nonprofit to a for-profit business,” Ignagni said. “The psychologists are there to make the organization function better for its people.”
A Graduate Degree Allows You to Meet the Growing Need in this Field
The program’s primary goals are to apply a broad range of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge and skills to prepare students for working in a multicultural and global society, as well as integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and ethics of the I/O psychology profession. Throughout their degree, students will have opportunities to engage in evidence-based research studies. The program is designed for recent graduates and working professionals and takes one year to complete.
“The master's in I/O is a mix of the scientist/practitioner paradigm, which is fundamental to the field,” Ignagni said. “This will prepare our students to either enter or move forward within in the field, the occupational outlook of which is looking good. Projected growth is expected to be 5 to 9 percent through 2026, based on U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics.”
There is a growing need for these professionals because if people aren’t satisfied in their job they’re going to leave, Ignagni added. Employers would rather retrain existing employees than hire new ones. “It’s cheaper to keep than to hire,” Ignagni said. “Plus, it looks good. People will tell others about their organization and how they are satisfied there.”
LEARN ABOUT GRADUATE STUDIES AT SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY
If you are interested in earning your graduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology or another field, we invite you to reach out to our admissions team to request more information. Or if you have specific questions, feel free to email us! We look forward to connecting with you soon.
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Note: This article was originally published here.