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Supporting I/O Psychology Grad Students

Insights from the SEBOC 3-Day Virtual Experience

*To hear the original recording of "Supporting our I/O Psychology Grad Students" during the SEBOC 3-Day Virtual Experience, check out Ep. 161 of the WorkCookie podcast here.

In 2021, there were approximately 2,386 Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology degrees granted in the United States, and the average salary for psychology majors currently stands at $69,982 (Data USA, 2023). While these statistics paint a promising picture, I/O Psychology students often find themselves faced with a wealth of information to sift through during their academic journey. This can make the process of getting through school, graduating, and finding a job in the field of I/O psychology a bit challenging if the student does not know where to turn. So, how can I/O students pave their way to a successful career? Let's explore.

The Challenges and the Responsibility of Preparation

The journey for I/O Psychology students begins with understanding the challenges they may encounter. One of the biggest hurdles is determining when and where to network effectively. Research suggests that students in higher education may not always be as prepared as they should be when it's time to enter the job market. This gap in readiness may be attributed to a lack of preparation on the part of both the student and the institution they attend (Brossoit & Wong, 2023).

To address this, students should actively communicate their needs to their academic institutions and follow through when seeking support. Advisors, professors, and mentors can play a pivotal role in helping students navigate their academic journey and steer them in the right direction for their careers.

The Power of Early Networking

Networking should be a central focus for I/O Psychology students, and the journey should start early. The SEBOC team, during their conference on August 12, 2023, emphasized the importance of beginning the networking process during your academic journey. Doing so can lead to invaluable connections that may open doors to internships and job opportunities.

Social networking platforms like LinkedIn offer a valuable platform for students to showcase their qualifications. Recruiters actively seek individuals looking to enter the field of I/O psychology, providing students with direct access to potential employers and positions (Zide, Elman & Denning, 2014).

Moreover, early networking allows students to connect with seasoned I/O psychologists who have been working in the field for a while. These connections can provide insights into the daily life of an I/O consultant or professional within an organization. These interactions may not only lead to early career opportunities but also help students determine their preferred niche within the I/O psychology field.

Seeking Guidance and Early Preparation

Starting early and seeking guidance during your academic journey can make all the difference. Don't hesitate to inquire about programs or additional contacts that can help clarify your career goals. Preparing your resume or vitae early on provides a competitive edge upon graduation. Effective networking before graduating ensures that you're well-prepared to embark on the job search journey.

In conclusion, I/O Psychology students have a bright future ahead, but success requires proactive steps. Understand the challenges, take the initiative in networking, and seek guidance throughout your academic journey. By doing so, you'll not only graduate with a degree but with a network of connections and a clear path towards a fulfilling career in the field of I/O psychology.

By: Carole Ingram, Ph.D.

BRIDGE Builder - The Bridgify Group

*To hear the original recording of "Supporting our I/O Psychology Grad Students" during the SEBOC 3-Day Virtual Experience, check out Ep. 161 of the WorkCookie podcast here.


Brossoit, R. M., & Wong, J. R. (2023). Instilling ethics in IO: The responsibility of graduate training programs. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 16(2), 182-186.

Data USA (2023, August 18). Data USA: Industrial & Organizational Psychology.

Zide, J., Elman, B., & Shahani-Denning, C. (2014). LinkedIn and recruitment: How profiles differ across occupations. Employee relations, 36(5), 583-604.


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