Psychology Field to Grow Agency Forecasts Rise for I-O Sector

Article excerpt

One of the more obscure fields listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics is industrial-organizational psychologist.

It is also projected to be the field with the highest growth -- measured by percentage -- over the next 10 years.

Employment for industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to grow by 53.4 percent by 2022 from its 2012 level, according to the labor department's most recent figures. The catch is there only are 1,600 of them now, so in 2022 the occupation is projected to have 2,500 employees.

The second-fastest growing occupation is personal care aides, a field that already has 1.1 million workers and is expected to grow by 48.8 percent.

Of the 1,600 members of the industrial-organizational psychology profession who are currently employed, about 10 percent work in Scott, for Bill Byham at Development Dimensions International Inc., which consults on hiring and training.

Mr. Byham, CEO of the 1,190-employee company, said the job title of industrial-organizational psychologist will explode because there will always be a need.

"To me, I-O psychology deals with how to make working people more successful, happy and fulfilled in their jobs," he said. "That's done by getting people into the correct jobs, helping them be successful in that job and having a boss who encourages them to be successful."

The psychologists, he said, are important not only to help hire the right people, but for training people to be effective leaders and good bosses. "People don't leave jobs, they leave bosses," he said.

In the realm of psychology, industrial-organizational psychology is the little sliver in the Venn diagram where psychology meets industry. …