Business psychology or industrial psychology is the study of human behavior and attributes in a workplace environment. It deals with applying basic psychological principles in marketing strategies and public relations to ensure the organization’s good relations internally and externally.
Business psychologists work in different aspects of a corporate environment, some preferring to utilize their psychological qualifications in facilitating better conditions for employees within the company, working on motivation levels, job satisfaction, and mental health. Others may choose to apply psychological theories and practices in the external relations of a company, working on marketing techniques, advertisement ideas, or in understanding a company’s target audience. Both these aspects are essential in a company and business psychologists are often in high demand, holding critical positions that make an impact on the amount of profit a business makes.
Degrees in business psychology train students to work in corporate fields as researchers, human resource managers, and consultants. Doctoral programs prepare students for leadership roles and educational positions.
If you are interested in a psychology degree with special focus in the business field, it is important you understand what area of business psychology you wish to take up and choose a degree based on that.
Bachelor’s programs in business psychology are not common because most people opt for a normal psychology stream and move on to business or industrial psychology later on in their master’s or doctoral degrees, which are in demand.
Those who are particular about a career in the business field and complete a bachelor’s degree in business psychology may find it easier to adjust to master’s programs should they choose to do one. Undergrad programs usually focus on core psychological concepts with added emphasis on business practices. They cover subjects like social psychology, human workplace behavior, and consumer behavior. They also cover theoretical and practical aspects of motivation, team-building, marketing, and human resource management.
A four-year bachelor’s degree in business psychology should typically qualify you to work in the corporate sector in entry-level positions, which is why most people choose to complete advanced master’s programs or doctoral programs in order to get higher level posts with better pay and more chance of career growth.
A diploma program could take around a year to complete, while a certificate course may be shorter (around six months lesser). It will introduce you to core concepts in accountancy, including basics and hands-on practice. Although it may not hold as much value as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, a diploma or certificate course can prepare you for a career in accounting and increase your chances of getting started in the field.
Master’s programs usually take about two years to complete, but could take longer if you opt for a part-time course. This degree offers specialization in industrial or business psychology, along with practical exposure and insight into working in a corporate environment as a psychologist. The program trains you in managing interpersonal relations, effective communications, and employee satisfaction.
Students learn about the psychology of a workplace, how to manage human resources, and learn practical tips on how to apply these concepts among people in a company. They also focus on research techniques, how to understand audience demands and needs, how best to attract a target audience, and maintain a positive public image for the company. Business psychologists learn how to apply basic psychological constructs regarding society, personal life, and family life into effective strategies that can be capitalized and that can bring profit to the company. Graduates with a master’s degree in business psychology can find many opportunities in the field and room for growth with decent salaries.
Doctoral degrees do not necessarily offer any topics that have not already been discussed in a bachelor’s program or master’s program. These degrees are more focused on research and are not requirements for a professional field, although they could add value for someone who is looking to enhance their leadership and analytical skills.
A Ph.D. or Psy.D. program takes about two years to complete and requires students to submit a dissertation. Job opportunities after graduating with this degree are varied, from academic positions as a lecturer or professor to analyst or consultancy posts.
Business psychology is more important than many people may think. Companies are increasingly finding the need to hire psychologists in corporate sectors to work on employee job satisfaction, help improve overall motivation levels, and ensure good mental health amongst employees. An effective business psychologist can actually make a lot of difference in the productivity of a business and improve success rates and profits.