Cutting-Edge Leadership

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Which Area of Psychology Is the US’s Fastest Growing Career?

It’s not only predicted to be the fastest growing, it’s the highest paying area

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted the fastest growing jobs through the year 2022. The big surprise was that the fastest growing profession in the United States is predicted to be Industrial-Organizational psychologist! The profession is expected to increase dramatically, by 53%, which put it ahead of a variety of health care jobs (with health the fastest-growing sector) and Interpreters & Translators (as a result of our international mobility). Here is the link for the top 10.

Why is there so much growth in I-O psychology? The BLS suggests that businesses are realizing the value of I-O psychologists in helping to solve organizational problems related to productivity and hiring the best employees.

In many ways, I-O psychology is one of psychology’s best-kept secrets. Not only is it predicted to have fast growth, but it is also one of the top-10 paying professions (you can read more about that here), with salaries averaging $124,000, ahead of financial consultants and airline pilots. Of course, most I-O psychologists have a masters degree or Ph.D..

Many people, even those who have completed coursework in psychology, don’t know much about I-O psychology. It is often not even covered in depth in introductory psychology textbooks. Simply put, it is the study of work behavior. The higher salaries of I-O psychologists is due to the large number who work for consulting firms that work with businesses, and the academic psychologists who find positions in schools of business (which typically pay higher salaries than psychology departments). Find out more about I-O psychology here.

 

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Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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