If you are a professional who wants the skills to help your organization reach its goals while also helping individual employees, you might consider earning an organizational psychology certificate.
Through a graduate certificate program in organizational psychology, you can develop specialized skills to help improve workplace morale, organizational efficiency, and employee satisfaction.
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There is a growing demand for professionals with these particular skill sets, and graduates may find opportunities to use their expertise across many industries.
Organizational Psychology Certificate Programs Online
The study of employee behavior within the workplace is known as industrial and organizational (IO) psychology.
An IO psychology certification is strategic for professionals looking to develop skills to help advance their careers and help their organization and its employees. Industrial-organizational psychology professionals help organizations reach their goals while increasing employee satisfaction and retention.
In I-O psychology programs, you can study how to apply psychology theory in the workplace, with the goal of improving understanding and management of employee behavior. These psychological theories are applied at every step of employee management, including recruitment, hiring, training, performance evaluation, retention, and motivation.
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A graduate certificate in I-O psychology could also be strategic for professionals looking to enhance their skill set and career options without pursuing a full master’s degree.
Key topics that may be studied as part of your industrial-organizational psychology program include:
- Organizational behavior
- Team dynamics
- Training theory
- Consumer motivation
- Ethical and social responsibility in the workplace
- Psychological principles
- Strategies for effective leadership
- I-O theory and development
If you want to continue your education by pursuing a masters in a related subject, such as an on-campus or online masters in industrial organizational psychology, for example your certificate courses may apply toward a graduate degree.
If you have already earned a graduate degree, such as one of the master’s-level on-campus or online degrees in psychology that a number of universities offer, you might pursue a post-master’s certificate in industrial organizational psychology in order to gain further expertise without pursuing a PhD.
Successful graduates tend to have strong active listening, reading comprehension, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, among others.
The skills gained through this graduate certificate program can apply to a range of areas, such as management, private consulting, human resources, leadership, and administration. Graduates may use these skills when employed by government organizations, private businesses, corporations, and nonprofit organizations in industries across the board.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Careers & Salaries
Professionals with graduate certificates in industrial and organizational psychology may find opportunities to use their skills learned in almost every industry.
IO psychology professionals are needed in government agencies, private companies, human resource departments or organizations, consulting firms, and private practices. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some careers that could benefit from expertise in organizational behavior.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||$127,530|
|Human Resources Managers||$126,230|
|Training and Development Managers||$120,130|
|Administration Services and Facilities Managers||$99,290|
|Project Management Specialists||$94,500|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,290|
|Training and Development Specialists||$61,570|
Some graduates may choose to focus on research in this area, while others may go on to pursue more advanced psychology degrees. A masters degree is a common requirement for industrial-organizational psychologists.
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Employees with these skills can train and motivate employees, assess job performance, and evaluate and improve efficiency in an organization. Professionals with these skills may also help improve employee satisfaction and retention by helping employees achieve a better work-life balance.
I/O Psychology Graduate Certificate Curriculum & Courses
While courses vary from program to program, listed below are some examples of courses that you might take to earn your IO psychology graduate certificate:
- Organizational Behavior: In this course, you’ll examine various factors that drive success, including motivation, personality, decision-making, diversity, and stress.
- Industrial / Organizational Psychology: This course focuses on applying social and organizational methods within the context of business and industry.
- Management and Leadership: This course focuses on how leaders drive results through empowerment and how leadership styles vary based on environmental factors.
- Strategies for Effective Leadership: Students in this course will examine effective management strategies for meeting individual, group, and organizational goals.
- Principles of Personnel and Human Resource Management: In this course, you’ll examine the psychology of HR management in physical and virtual work environments.
- Organizational Culture and Design: This course focuses on the relationship between the organization’s structure and culture, including corporate ethics and globalization.
- Workplace Motivation and Attitudes: Students in this course will assess and evaluate employee behavior and develop plans for increasing employee satisfaction.
- I-O Theory and Development: This course provides a history of I-O Psychology and explores the current research and theory within the field of I-O Psychology.
- Organizational Leadership: Management, Training, and Evaluation: Students will develop best practices in employee recruitment, hiring, training, and evaluation.
- Organizational Development: In this course, you’ll explore the theory behind organizational development and the psychology behind how organizations function.
In addition to coursework, some programs also offer a field placement or practicum that provides students with the opportunity to practically apply their learned skills.
While admissions requirements can vary from school to school, listed below are some common requirements for an IO psychology graduate certificate program:
- Online application
- Bachelor degree and official transcripts
- Resume or CV detailing your education and work experience
- Minimum college GPA requirement
- GRE or GMAT scores (not required by all schools)
In addition to the above requirements, some programs may also require a statement of intent and an application fee.
Regional accreditation is the process of ensuring that a school meets a predetermined standard of quality. The most widely accepted accreditation is regional accreditation.
The accreditation status of your school can potentially affect whether your graduate certificate is recognized by employers as well as other educational institutions. Accreditation of a certificate program is usually important in same way as for degree programs, such as bachelor’s in industrial organizational psychology online or on campus.
If you want to pursue an advanced degree, accredited certificate courses may count toward related graduate programs.
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You can visit the US Department of Education’s website to learn more about school accreditation.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
As you look into earning an online certificate in industrial & organizational psychology, you can also consider the various financial assistance opportunities that may be available.
If you are currently employed in a related field or position, you can see if your employer offers tuition benefits for continuing education and professional development. Some schools offer scholarships or financial aid opportunities to qualifying students who enroll in their programs. Scholarships may also be offered through other public and private organizations.
In addition, federal and state governments can provide student loans and grants to those who qualify. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for need-based aid.
What Can You Do with an Industrial Organizational Psychology Certificate?
Professionals who have completed an industrial and organizational psychology graduate certificate may find opportunities to use these skills in nearly every industry.
For instance, these skills are applicable in management, administration, private consulting, training, and leadership roles. Every organization needs professionals who can assist in helping the organization reach its goals while also helping teams within the organization as well as individual employees.
Common career paths for IO psychology professionals include management analyst, training and development specialist, and human resources specialist. Graduate courses may help experienced professionals qualify for management roles in these areas.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Industrial-Organizational Psychology Certificate Online?
The time needed to complete your organizational behavior graduate certificate will vary based on a few factors, including your program, the number of credits required, and your schedule.
Many of these programs can be completed in less than 1 year with full-time study. Some can even be completed in as little as 5 months. If you are enrolled in courses part-time, your program may take longer to finish, but this may be an option if you need more flexibility with your schedule.
Is an Industrial/Organizational Psychology Certificate Worth It?
Yes, an industrial/organizational psychology certificate is worth it for many professionals. Whether you’re looking to expand your current professional skills or gain new skills, this graduate certificate provides the opportunity to increase your professional qualifications.
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As workplace dynamics shift with employees working online, in the workplace, or in some combination of the two, there is an increased demand for professionals with effective leadership skills.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers that could benefit from this advanced training are projected to have continued growth in the future. For instance, training and development managers are expected to have 7% job growth over the next ten years.
Universities Offering Online Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
California Southern University offers a Certificate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This 18 credit program can typically be completed in 1 year of full-time study. Potential courses include Culture and Diversity in Counseling, Social Psychology, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace.
California Southern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Champlain College offers a Graduate Certificate in Positive Organization Development that can be earned online. The program requires the completion of 12 credit hours.
Potential courses include Foundations of Positive Organizational Development, Advanced Applications of Positive Inquiry, and Strength Based Assessment and Analysis Methods. Coursework can be accessed around the clock.
Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Colorado State University offers a 12 credit program for an Applied Positive Psychology Graduate Certificate. The curriculum emphasizes real-world applications of evidence-based strategies.
The certificate can be earned online, and the program is designed to fit busy schedules. The curriculum typically consists of Advanced Introduction to Positive Psychology and three electives. Applications are accepted for fall and spring semesters.
Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Golden Gate University’s Graduate Certificate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology can be earned online, on campus, and in a hybrid format. The program requires the completion of 12 units.
The curriculum typically consists of Organizational Behavior and Development and three 3 credit electives. Possible elective choices include Personal Leadership, Leading Complex Change, and Applied Psychological Research.
GGU is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Grand Canyon University’s IO Graduate Certificate can be earned online. The curriculum aims to teach how to apply psychology in practical ways in the workplace. The program requires the completion of four 8 week courses. Potential courses include Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Development, and Strategies for Effective Leadership and Consultation.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
An Organizational Behavior Graduate Certificate can be earned online or on campus through Harvard University’s Extension School.
The curriculum consists of 4 core courses and 2 electives. Potentially required classes include Organizational Behavior and Conflict Management. Most students work full-time while completing the program and can typically finish in 1.5 years.
Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Hawaii Pacific University offers a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Development and Change. The program requires the completion of four courses—two core courses and two electives—for a total of 12 credits.
Potential core courses include Change Leadership and Organizational Development and Change. Possible elective options include Assessing Culture, Innovations and Creativity, and Workforce Talent and Development. The program also offers internship opportunities.
Hawai’i Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a Graduate Certificate in Applied Workplace Psychology. This fully online program requires the completion of four courses. Potential courses include Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Advanced Research Methods, Small Group Dynamics, and Job Analysis and Performance Management. Students typically take two courses each semester for 1 year.
Missouri University of Science and Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Purdue University offers an online program for a Graduate Certificate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Credits from the program may be applied to a master’s degree in psychology. Each course is 10 weeks long, and students typically devote 15 to 18 hours per week to their studies. There are multiple start dates offered each year. The program can typically be completed in 11 months.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Rosemont College offers an online program for a Strategic Leadership Graduate Certificate that aims to provide a well-rounded curriculum. It requires the completion of 5 courses. Potential classes include Organizational Psychology and Behavior, Leading Change for Innovation and Alignment, and Globalization and Cultural Negotiation.
Rosemont College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Thomas Edison State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. This online program requires the completion of 12 credit hours of coursework. Potential courses include Psychological Factors in Selecting and Growing Organizational Talent and Unearthing and Enhancing Organizational Talent Through Psychology.
Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Connecticut offers a Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health Psychology. The program requires the completion of 15 credits, including two electives.
Potential courses include Occupational Health Psychology, Field and Lab OHP Research Experience, and Intermediate Epidemiology. The curriculum covers how to make workplaces safer and healthier through the application of psychology. To earn the certificate, students must also complete a non-thesis project with a mentor.
The University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maryland—Baltimore County offers two I-O psychology graduate certificate programs. It offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Organizational Consulting and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Training and Talent Development.
Each program requires the completion of 12 credits and provides a blend of online and in-person instruction. The curriculum is designed to teach practical applications and provide experiential learning opportunities.
UMBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Vanguard University offers a program for an Applied Organizational Research Certificate that typically takes 2 semesters to complete. It can be started in fall or spring terms. Courses are available online and in-person. The curriculum aims to teach how to apply evidence-based strategies to create healthier and more productive business environments.
Vanguard is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
West Chester University’s Graduate Certificate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology can be earned 100% online. The program requires the completion of four courses for a total of 12 credits.
Potential classes include Advanced Industrial Psychology, Advanced Organizational Psychology, and Ethics and Professional Skills in Organizational Practice. The curriculum is designed to teach students how to drive positive change in businesses and other organizations.
West Chester University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Certificate in Organizational Psychology Online
If you want to further your understanding of how to develop an organization and its employees, you may consider getting a graduate certificate in I-O psychology online from an accredited university.
Earning a graduate certificate in organizational psychology online could help you advance your professional qualifications and expand your career opportunities. Your learned skills and knowledge may be applied to positions in consulting, administration or management, human resources, and training and development in many industries.
If you want to further your studies, graduate certificate courses might also count toward a related masters degree program. You can start exploring accredited certificate programs today to find the one that’s right for you.