a-closer-look

A Closer Look
at the Fastest Growing Occupation

Written by Marissa Poulson

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its most recent list of the 20 Fastest Growing Occupations in the United States, Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychologist was at the top of the list.

This career may not receive a lot of hype, but in the world of business, industrial organizational psychologists are a vital asset. By focusing on myriad behaviors in and around the workplace, I/O psychologists deal both directly and indirectly with an organization's most valuable resource—its people.

Trends in I/O Psychology

According to the BLS, the number of I/O psychologists is projected to grow by 53.4 percent between 2012 and 2022. In addition, with a 2012 median annual wage of $83,580, I/O psychologist is among the top-paying occupations on the list of fastest growing occupations, behind physician assistants, information security analysts and nurse practitioners. While the salary alone may be enough to encourage interest in the profession, the reality is there are rewarding opportunities for people who are interested in this career.

"The increasing number of virtual workplaces as well as globalization of many industries has created a demand for individuals who can help organizations hire the best applicants for their needs, retain qualified employees and maximize employee potential as well as create a corporate culture that fosters a productive and positive workforce," reveals Dr. Bob Haussmann, dean of NCU's School of Psychology.

“The increasing number of virtual workplaces as well as globalization of many industries has created a demand for individuals who can help organizations hire the best applicants for their needs, retain qualified employees and maximize employee potential as well as create a corporate culture that fosters a productive and positive workforce.”

Dr. Bob Haussmann, Dean of NCU’s School of Psychology

"Additionally, there are so many career options available to folks with an I/O background. You can find them employed in human resources, training, leadership, program evaluation, marketing and sales, organizational development, employee selection, product testing, consumer behavior and customer satisfaction."

A Closer Look

One individual employed in this profession is NCU Ph.D. candidate Mary Keysor, PHR, RHU. Keysor currently runs her own consulting company, élan Benefits, in Tucson, Ariz., which provides training and education to small businesses on the areas of employee management, human resources, regulatory compliance and organizational development. However, it wasn't until she inquired about NCU's doctoral programs that she started to consider focusing her education on I/O Psychology.

“It was suggested to me by my NCU enrollment advisor as a possible good fit, given my background in employee benefits and human resource consultation.”

Mary Keysor

"It was suggested to me by my NCU enrollment advisor as a possible good fit, given my background in employee benefits and human resource consultation," explains Keysor. "Indeed it is a perfect fit, as it addresses the various psychological and behavioral components of the organizational context or, put simply, human behavior in the workplace."

Through her consulting endeavors, Keysor is able to help businesses who are committed to building great places to work.

“I often work with employers who are interested in establishing worksite wellness programs," relates Keysor. "By helping them understand how employees engage and participate, how to implement the types of activities that encourage behavioral change, and how to embed wellness into their organizational culture, I provide my clients with the tools and understanding necessary to build a successful wellness program.”

A Closer Look Abstract