There are many schools of thought about what constitutes the best training and education in the field of IOPsychology, but the most common belief is that the coursework should be centered on four main areas: Human Factors, Organizational Theory, Policy Analysis, and Applications. Some programs can offer additional learning forms not mentioned here, or can vary in these types of categories, as well. Some programs are geared for specific careers or degrees, and some are more structured to develop a set curriculum and make the students better “graduates” than they were at the start of their studies.
Human Factors, Organizational Theory, and Policy Analysis are three areas of research in IOPsychology. These areas focus on the human-organizational interactions that drive organizational performance and productivity. In theory, if a firm or organization is able to create an environment that meets the needs of its employees, and that also encourages creativity and problem solve, then it will achieve much higher levels of productivity and efficiency, as well as increased profitability. As human behavior is affected by human factors, it is important to have a solid understanding of human nature and the various behavioral patterns that affect people, as well as the reasons why these patterns exist.
In the areas of policy analysis, IOPsychology courses will teach you the concepts that govern how policies affect individuals and their surroundings. This can include looking at the role government plays in creating policy decisions, as well as examining how the private and public sectors, and private citizens, shape and control government policy. Students will learn to analyze how public opinion and political lobbying can have a major impact on government policies.
Students studying IOPsychology should also take care to understand the impact that they will make on the future of the field. While you are in school, you will have the opportunity to make decisions about the future direction of the field. While you will be involved in research and development of the latest techniques in the field, you are also expected to be an integral part of the design of your programs, the implementation of your programs, and the teaching of your students. You must be willing to take the lead when it comes to educating your students, and shaping their futures.
Some of the other areas that are covered in IOPsychology, but not covered in any depth in IOPsychology Masters programs include management theory, social dynamics, and leadership, public relations, marketing and communication, and public relations, decision analysis, social work, and development, and customer service. The list is endless. In addition to taking the necessary core courses, students are expected . . . . . . to complete other related seminars, participate in internship experiences, and take part in a wide variety of field trips. In addition to being hands-on, these opportunities allow you to experience the campus life in an academic setting.
The best part about IOPsychology programs is that these programs are completely customizable to your specific interests and goals. You may choose to study a particular career track in depth, or choose a general one and concentrate on one area for which you are most interested.