Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Texas
When you choose a college major, part of your decision-making process should be job prospects after you graduate. In many cases, job prospects are best in states experiencing population growth.
When it comes to population growth, Texas has been at or near the top of the list for quite some time. In fact, the latest census data shows that Texas has three of the top five fastest-growing cities of more than 50,000 people. Likewise, Texas is home to three of the top 10 most populous cities – Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.
With population growth comes business and industry growth. As businesses and industries grow, they often experience growing pains that industrial-organizational psychologists can help mitigate.
When the bottom line of a business is at risk, one of the best investments business leaders can make is bringing in an industrial organizational psychologist to identify problem areas, develop interventions, and put those interventions into practice.
In a state in which there are already 3 million businesses that employ 4.9 million people – with more on the way – Texas is ripe for employment opportunities for industrial organizational psychologists.
Below is a list of Texas-based industrial organizational-psychology degree programs that can help prepare you for a future career in the Lone Star State.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs in Texas
The University of Houston
The University of Houston is the third largest public research institution in Texas with an enrollment of more than 47,000 undergraduate and graduate students. There are four campuses in the Houston area, including the main campus, Katy, Sugar Land, and Technology Bridge.
The University includes 36 research centers and offers 276 undergraduate and graduate programs. Of those, 111 are graduate programs, including in industrial organizational psychology.
The University of Houston system employs more than 2,800 faculty members and has invested nearly $2 billion over the last decade in new construction projects.
As a student in the University of Houston’s graduate program in industrial-organizational psychology, you’ll explore both psychological theory and best practices as they pertain to resolving issues of human capital in the workplace.
The program includes traditional coursework, which is complemented by theory-based research in industrial organizational concepts. Specifically, you’ll explore topics related to:
- Employee selection
- Talent management
- Organizational development
- Coaching and training
Additionally, you’ll learn how to lead employees in developing leadership qualities, improving employee engagement, and teaching employees how to achieve a better work-life balance.
This is a four to five-year program. The first two years are dedicated to coursework, which is followed by a comprehensive written exam. The third and fourth years of study focus on research, the dissertation, and an internship. A fifth year can be added to the program to complete these requirements.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is the oldest university in Texas and is one of the largest universities in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 students. The university also has a robust offering of educational programs that include 133 undergraduate degrees, 175 master’s programs, and nearly 100 doctoral degree programs. It is one of just three Tier 1 research universities in Texas, along with Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin.
The university isn’t just large in terms of its enrollment and program offerings – its main campus in College Station covers 5,200 acres. Texas A&M also has campuses in Galveston, Texas, as well as in Qatar in the Middle East.
The master’s degree in psychological sciences at Texas A&M offers a concentration in industrial-organizational psychology that prepares you to apply psychological principles to workplace environments.
The 32-credit curriculum follows the scientist-practitioner model. As a result, you’ll complete instructor-led courses to build a foundation of scientific understanding, then apply what you’ve learned in real-world situations during a required internship.
The program is offered in an accelerated format that allows you to graduate in just 16 months. It’s a cohort program, too, so you will move through the courses with the same set of classmates. Additionally, this is a non-thesis program, so research and a dissertation are not required.
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington has a student body of more than 45,000 students, of which nearly 13,000 are in graduate school. The University has more than 180 programs available, including dozens of graduate programs. Of these, 16 are recognized as being among the best in the U.S.
The University is a research-focused institution. In fact, it’s classified as a Research-1 doctoral university by the Carnegie Foundation. There are many distinct centers for research at the university, including:
- The Center for Metropolitan Density
- The Center for African-American Studies
- The Institute of Urban Studies
The industrial-organizational master’s program at the University of Texas at Arlington offers two tracks. You can choose a 38-credit hour non-thesis option or a 41-credit hour thesis option. In either case, you’ll take courses such as:
- Organizational Behavior
- Employee Selection
- Applied Research Design
- Organizational Team Performance
- Leadership in Organizations
There is also an internship component that puts you in a supervised learning experience in a real-world setting.
You can supplement your studies with further coursework in:
- Diversity in Organizations
- Ethics and the Business Environment
There are many other elective options that you can pursue to tailor your educational experience to your specific needs and wants.
This is a cohort-based program and can be completed in two years of full-time study.
Work Opportunities in Texas
As discussed in the introduction, Texas’ burgeoning population could be good news for you as a graduate of one of the programs discussed above. Industrial organizational psychologists are employed in a variety of industries, many of which are thriving in Texas.
For example, with a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology, you might be hired by a Fortune 500 company based in Houston as an internal specialist. Since Houston is home to many oil and gas companies, you might find employment as an internal specialist in that industry.
Another option might be to pursue a doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology and start your own consulting firm after you graduate.
Industrial-organizational psychologists that are self-employed are hired by companies as external consultants to come in for a period of time, evaluate the performance of the company and its employees, and make recommendations for improving productivity, employee satisfaction, communication, and so forth.
There are Texas-based jobs in this field that focus more on employee screening, hiring, and retention as well. With a master’s degree or a doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology, you might be hired to revamp a company’s human resources department. You might be asked to develop screening processes for potential new employees or develop new training methods to onboard new employees in a quick and efficient manner.
As the competition for dominance between Texas-based businesses continues to increase, the need for competent industrial-organizational psychologists will increase.
Beginning your studies now and getting the proper training in this field will allow you to take advantage of a growing business sector in the Lone Star State and develop a long-term career as a respected industrial organizational psychologist.