I/O consulting

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by sam handwich, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. sam handwich

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychologist
    One thing I do not want as a career is a desk job, but the field of I/O psych has got my attention. Of course, all professions have some desk and office aspect to them, but what i really dont need is 40 hours a week plugging away at spreadsheets.

    My career counselor informed me that working for a firm as an MA-level I/O consultant may be suitable to my needs. She described it with an example of touring factories and pointing out the social psychology aspects of it, how a consultant would note that factories painted with bright colors and had music playing would make the workers happier and more productive. Honestly, i dont know if she knows what she is talking about, but thats why I came on here...

    A career in I/O psych (masters level), particularly in consulting; is this a suitable career for someone like me who would rather starve than do a mind-numbing desk job? Also I truly love jobs where I can directly work with people, organize them, etc, though i understand that organizational psychology does not actually entail this?

    Already checked the SIOP website. I didnt find it to helpful to my specific questions.
     
  2. WannaBeDrMe

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, this has went unanswered for a while, I'll try and do my best but please keep in mind that I've never been a part of an I/O program and only remember specifics from undergrad years ago. Also, I try to keep things as anonymous on here as I can for myself and I sometimes feel like that makes me speak in conflicting generalities... but be patient... something good might shake out. :)

    First of all, most psych/social work/counseling jobs will not be spreadsheet jobs. There is an annoying amount of paperwork... but there's a lot of face time too. There's no rule (unless it's your agency/practice rule) that you must conduct therapy from behind a desk so there's freedom there in location, setting, etc... (as long as it remains ethical and confidential).

    I don't know that you have to travel to I/O psych to get the benefits you mention. Consultants can come from any division of the field. Conversely, any type of psychologist can serve in an industrial setting. I took a lot of management courses and what I learned is that a consultant can be made up and paid for just about any imagined need.

    I perceived I/O to be a trend... this is likely just b/c I don't understand it... but I just didn't see it as a sustainable need. Let's say people go around reshaping organizational structures/cultures/environments... that pretty much closes that case. No need to come back, at least for a while. Industry sticks to patterns and consistency... so there just wouldn't likely be a lot of change in process that would necessitate return consultations.

    Now, working in EAP, that's another ballgame. EAP's will have constant drama pop up and your job there is to stabilize the employee so that they can continue in a productive manner... Most EAP's are contracted companies but some are in house... you could work as an EAP therapist w/either a clinical doctoral or masters degree. That wouldn't be a total desk job either.

    As for you wanting to organize people... well, I have to pop your bubble... people don't fold up into pretty manilla folders to be filed at 5pm... ha. I don't know if "organizing people" is a realistic goal. You can try to ameliorate their environments or teach them skills to better cope with their situations or re-tool their cognitive perceptions and their behavioral reactions... but organizing... I don't know...

    Good luck and hope that helped a little... again, wasn't trying to bash I/O... that's totally just my prejudice and it's likely outdated and misinformed.
     
  3. sam handwich

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychologist
    EAP sounds like an interesting field! I may want to look into this further. As for organizing people, I meant more in the restaurant management sense, where one directly commands others to carry out tasks. Its a little more hands on, and I guess, i should have just said management. I am quite ignorant when it comes to many fields of management, as the only managerial experience I have is running my restaurant back at home. All I know is that I dont want a cubicle job. I need stimulation, and interpersonal contact, although I am uncertain about counseling or social work fields. Again, I am all about the "organizational" bit. I could see myself running a homeless shelter or something.
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
    Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    21,381
    Likes Received:
    2,291
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I/O....in the more traditional sense, is much more about crunching numbers, and business evaluation, than it is about anything to do with talk therapy. Something like EAP is much more clinical than I/O....as most/all I/O training programs has little to nothing to do with therapy.
     
  5. WannaBeDrMe

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations, you might be a social worker!!!

    Seriously, the organizing power of social work is legendary... these people organize crap you don't even want organized. :) Do you want a job where you have 30 clients each with 50 things on the to do list everyday? Do you want a job where your entire to do list is pushed aside because a client pops up to "talk?" Do you want a job where you work from 8-8 every day and never catch up? Do you want a job where it's impossible to keep a calendar b/c things change and fill up too quickly to keep track?

    You might just be a social worker... ha.

    That's pretty typical of agency/non profit work where I am now... not so much of private practice and probably not of EAP (though I've never done that work)...

    Good luck with your decisions and maybe, welcome to the field.
     
  6. sam handwich

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychologist
    Thanks for the ideas! I feel like I have floating my whole way through college. I am now discovering there are alot more fields I that I should have investigated as I am in my final year.

    I/O psych probably isnt right for me. I like hands-on a lot more. Why today I discovered the option of becoming an EMT! So many choices!
     
  7. ioliz

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I am applying for master's programs in I/O and I think that what your career counselor was referring to was industrial psychology - I have limited knowledge of it, but what she said isn't totally off. You spend time assessing employees through testing, hiring, firing, and things like that. However, if you want to work with people, I would strongly consider getting a degree in counseling psychology. I have met many of them who have decided to use their expertise in psych to "consult" to organizations. I know that LCSWs do that as well - the pay is good. If you don't want to deal with spreadsheets, human service vocations such as these could be very fulfilling.
     
  8. IOPsych

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    As far as direct consulting goes, ie. working as a consultant for a consulting firm, you will have a real tough time getting that type of job with a masters. I spent a year deciding what was better for me and I interned at a consulting firm and they all said you can not consult unless you have a PhD, it's a credibility issue. Now there were people who worked under the PhDs that did some research type of work with masters, but I think there were only 2-3 people with masters degrees that worked in this branch of the company, whereas there were like 10-12 PhDs. Now within a large corporation I have heard there is not much of a difference between masters and PhDs, however I have no first hand experience with this.

    I suggest you read up on I/O Psychology because your career counselor did not give you very good picture. It is very analytical, most I/O students have more methods/statistics courses than Clinical students, very mathematically/scientifically based program. I know in our program we take 2-3 more methods/psychometrics courses than the clinical students do.
     

Share This Page