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What skills should I acquire to become a successful industrial and organizational psychologist?

I want to make sure that I will have the skills to be a successful I/O psychologist, and would appreciate details on those skills needed. #psychology

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Win’s Answer

I'd say that, in addition to the interpersonal skills Scott notes, it is valuable to possess a strong foundation in project management, statistical analysis, and research design/methodology. Regardless of whether you go academic or applied (either at the PhD or master's levels), having knowledge of and being able to execute on each of these skillsets will be important. Even if you don't do statistical analyses or conduct research in your specific I/O role, having a strong background in these areas will ensure that you are able to critically assess and apply the extensive literature that underlies all I/O related initiatives and establishes the field as a science.
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Scott’s Answer

Hey Jadie - Great question, wish I would have seen it sooner.


As an IO psychologist, you need to get some hefty education...Master's degree at a minimum usually. That education will help you get your knowledge base. However, some of the skills and experience that many IO Psych people don't have can hold you back even if you know everything.


First, you have to develop solid interpersonal skills. Learn how to talk to people, especially those in higher positions. Be able to simplify complex concepts so that non-experts can understand and use them. Communicate clearly! Second, get some work experience. Do an internship in an HR department, see if you can get into a consulting firm. It's difficult to learn about and instruct others in business if you don't have much experience. Third, figure out if you would rather teach and do research or work in an applied setting. This is always the big questions for people who go into IO. Knowing the answer to this question will help you pick the right school and prepare you for a successful career.


This is a lot to take in so let me know if you have any follow-up questions.


Scott

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Gerta’s Answer

Outside of education, I'd say the ability to build relationships, listening skills, analytical skills, project management, excellent communication, ability to create vision and strategy as well as execute form end to end.
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