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What is an Organizational Development Psychology Degree?

Alliant International University
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Published on: 12/07/2022
Last Updated: 05/26/2023
5 minute read

What Is a PsyD in Organization Development?

When it comes to your education, you can choose your major from a variety of options. But you’ll likely stick with what you’re learning if it’s a subject you’re passionate about. After all, whatever degree you choose may influence your future career path. 

If you have an interest in the study of human behavior, as well as business operations and work culture, then you may like a degree in organizational development psychology. Unsure of what that is? 

Essentially, organizational development is a psychology specialization that studies human behavior and interactions to improve the work environment. If you’re interested in being an OD practitioner, keep reading this guide to find out.

Pursuing a Degree in Organizational Development Psychology

If you pursue a psychology degree in organizational development, you’ll likely receive specialized training in workplace behavior and interactions. Typically, the education for this career path combines the research and analytical aspects of psychology with in-depth business management and operations knowledge.

While there are some bachelor’s degree options in this field, those who earn a master’s degree may find that there are more career development opportunities available to them. In a master’s degree program, your studies would likely focus on topics such as: 

  • Career development
  • Workplace-related executive orders and laws
  • Consumer behavior
  • Job analysis
  • Criterion and decision theory
  • Research and evaluation methods
  • Human performance and factors
  • Occupational development

A typical master’s degree will take two years to complete, but this timeline can vary depending on the program you choose and your individual situation. You may also choose to pursue a doctorate degree, which typically requires four to five years of schooling. 

Potential Career Opportunities

If you choose to pursue a degree in organizational development psychology, it’s smart to understand the fields in which you may find job opportunities. Those with an organizational development psychology degree are attractive candidates for jobs within: 

  • Academia
  • Government
  • Consulting

While each industry requires different duties, there is some general overlap between these fields.

Typical Job Duties and Responsibilities

In today’s workforce, many companies are prioritizing employee satisfaction to ensure productivity and stay ahead of the competition. However, improving employee job satisfaction can be difficult if a company is unsure of the specific reasons why their employees are dissatisfied to begin with. This is where an organizational development psychologist can step in. 

Organizational development psychologists typically learn the skills to:

  • Identify ways to improve business operations
  • Conduct studies on employee satisfaction, needs, and demands
  • Develop strategies and training programs based on research and findings
  • Utilize various research methods to increase productivity and efficiency
  • Train and coach employees and employers on better workplace practices

To be successful in this career, you may find it helpful to further develop your communication, decision-making, and research skills, as these factors will likely come into play on a daily basis. 

Potential Salary

The salary you can expect to earn with a degree in organizational development psychology will vary depending on the career you pursue. Between jobs in academia, government, consulting, and more, there are many options to choose from. Some jobs may even offer opportunities for advancement, and therefore, higher salaries. 

Other factors that may influence your salary include: 

  • The location where you work 
  • Your degree type 
  • Your level of experience

Why Study Organizational Development Psychology?

Choosing a degree in organizational psychology can be a major decision for an incoming student. You likely want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and choosing an area of study that you’ll enjoy. While you can always change your major later on, it may be more cost-effective and beneficial in the long-term to understand your potential major before choosing to pursue a degree. 

If you’re interested in working toward a psychology degree in organizational development, but are unsure whether or not you’ll enjoy it, consider the following questions: 

  • Do you enjoy analyzing and studying what influences human behavior and relationships?
  • Do you want to help build better work environments so that they’re more inclusive, equal, and diverse?
  • Do you communicate effectively and enjoy building relationships with different people?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be a perfect candidate for this type of degree.

Earning a Psychology Degree in Organizational Development

The goal of a psychology degree in organizational development is to offer you the knowledge and resources needed to help transform the modern-day workplace and improve job satisfaction.  

At Alliant International University, we offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in your industry and network with leading professionals. Our degree programs and faculty members can provide individualized support and attention, as well as hands-on training, internships, and more. 

Take advantage of all we have to offer in your journey toward your professional career goals. Visit our campus today or request more information if you’re interested in any of our programs.


  1. “19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 31, 2021. Accessed: December 29, 2021. 


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