What degrees can I earn?
Organizational psychology offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from certificate programs to top organizational psychology degrees like a PhD and PsyD. As group dynamics and work morale becomes more important in shaping workplace and business efficiency, more organizational psychology graduate programs are becoming established. Many programs also offer an online psychology degree so professionals can continue working as they pursue advanced education.
Most organizational psychology certificate programs are offered as post-baccalaureate or post-graduate programs, such as Saint Joseph’s University’s certificate program. Prerequisites for organizational psychology certificate programs online and on campus usually include an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Most certificate programs can be completed in a year and offer 15 to 16 credit hours, which are usually transferable to an advanced degree program.
Over the past decade, more undergraduate organizational psychology programs have been established, including the online bachelors degree in psychology. There are usually no prerequisites for undergraduates to declare their BA or BS major in organizational psychology. Most Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs can be completed in 4 years, with students earning 120 credit hours.
Students can also pursue graduate work through an organizational psychology masters degree, with most masters programs culminating in a Master of Arts degree. All organizational psychology MA programs, including online masters programs, require applicants to have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university. Your application essay should also clearly articulate why you want to pursue advanced work in the field.
The top degree in organizational psychology is awarded through a PhD program. Although students can also pursue PsyD programs, PhD in psychology programs that specialize in organizational psychology are much more common.
The top programs in the country, such as Columbia University’s doctoral program, are extremely competitive. Most successful applicants enter with masters degrees in organizational psychology or a related field, while others come into a doctoral program with years of experience in an organizational leadership role.
Are there any online programs?
Yes, a wide range of organizational psychology degree programs are available online. Several accredited online colleges offer various programs, from post-baccalaureate certificates to doctoral degrees as part of a broader continuing education program.
Most online organizational psychology schools are not hybrid programs and can be completed online. Therefore, the best online organizational psychology program will not only have similar classes offered at top brick-and-mortar universities but also provide internship and networking opportunities that give students access to realistic on-the-job scenarios and experiences.
Online BA and BS degree programs in organizational psychology tend to be flexible, with little to no on-campus requirements. For example, students enrolled in Florida Tech University’s online organizational psychology bachelors degree program can complete their BA in 4 years and entirely online. As most organizational psychologists are not considered clinical workers, they do not need on-site clinical training.
Organizational psychology online masters degree and doctoral degree programs can be completed entirely online, with few programs offering hybrid options. Online students should integrate internships into their curriculum and accumulate work experience with organizations such as nonprofits or government offices, since consulting with a dynamic range of professionals is a critical aspect of most professional work in the field.
What kinds of classes will I take in my program?
Core undergraduate classes in organizational psychology include general and social psychology, lifespan development and human behavior. Undergraduates also take a set of foundational business and management courses, including principles of management, human resource management, organization and transition change seminars and business and professional speaking. The best online BA and BS organizational psychology courses will explore similar topics as those examined in programs at traditional universities.
Required coursework for graduate students in organizational psychology covers research and integrative experience, social organizational theory and research and statistics. The strongest graduate classes, including online psychology courses, will help students build communication and critical thinking skills that can be aptly applied to corporate and governments work settings. The best graduate programs will also allow students to specialize in fields such as labor and industrial or international relations.
What careers can I choose from?
Organizational psychology students whose careers in psychology will focus on improving the overall quality of work life, can pursue an array of high-paying jobs. The best careers in the field include employment as consultants for small and large organizations, managers in human service organizations and principals with consulting firms. Salary tends to vary depending on the type of consulting work you pursue, the industry you work for and your overall work experience.
Many organizational psychologist students end up working as private consultants for small and large organizations. They are often called management analysts, and their primary goal is to find ways to improve the organization’s efficiency, often in order to reduce costs and increase profits while stabilizing and strengthening morale. Organizational psychologists who work as consultants receive an average salary of about $80,000 a year.
Organizational psychologists are frequently hired as managers for human service organizations. They coordinate and supervise social service programs at nonprofits, foundations and government agencies. For an average salary, organizational psychologists in management positions receive about $60,000 to $70,000.
Principals at private consulting firms often specialize in the marketing, financial and technical industries. They offer expertise and management skills in different fields and are responsible for designing and delivering solutions that meet clients’ expectations. Principal consultants receive an average annual salary of about $106,000.
Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree?
Since most organizational psychologists do not work in clinical settings but rather as private consultants in the business sector, they do not need to be state licensed. However, professionals who finish their organizational psychology training through advanced degree programs and wish to become state licensed so they can provide direct patient care may take the same standardized state licensing examination that other psychologists take.
The Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, which is a division of the American Psychological Association, currently sets industry standards and overlooks licensure processes for industrial and organizational psychologists.
Continuing education is not mandatory in this field. Due to the consistent structural transformations of business models, however, many organizational psychologists enroll in post-baccalaureate or post-graduate psychology certifications. They also take continuing education classes in business management and receive organizational psychology certification in specific fields such as technology or education.