What Careers are in Applied Psychology?

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The careers in applied psychology aren’t just limited to clinical or academic positions. Students with a master’s degree in applied psychology can find work in marketing, health care and human resources.

Research Manager

Research managers are marketing analytics professionals that create marketing solutions. They are tasked with providing hands-on mentoring to marketing staff while also delivering insights that positively impact revenue and the business. Research managers often work as key members of corporate research teams who strive to discover, explore, and explain the impacts of marketing messages and social media conversation. They apply innovative analytical approaches and develop new ways to understand social metrics and how they influence brand performance. They will strive to understand the relationships between social metrics, target advertising and consumer behaviors. Based on the data they gather, research managers will provide recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of brand and advertising strategies.

Behavior Intervention Specialist

Behavior intervention specialists complete behavioral assessments and create associated behavior support plans for clients. They work in a variety of settings, such as school districts, health care facilities and private special education centers. They provide training and coaching to clients and their families. They monitor and measure intervention outcomes and revise approaches as needed to meet goals and facilitate positive outcomes. Their basic job is to conduct functional behavior assessments in collaboration with support staff and professional stakeholders, such as social workers and program managers. They maintain clinical records and disseminate documentation to outside professionals, such as corrections officers and school administrators. They must be familiar with crisis intervention and prevention tools and strategies. A master’s degree in clinical or applied psychology is required, according to the American Psychological Association.

Assessment Development Specialist

Assessment development specialists are industrial-organizational psychologists who work in corporate human resources. They design, develop and administer complex HR programs that meet the career development needs of their organization. They collaborate with managers to cultivate relationships, gather information and identify opportunities. They oversee the implementation of HR programs and systems related to employee performance and training. They provide technical expertise and guide managers with talent development and coaching programs. For example, this includes developing interview techniques, performance rating scales and aptitude tests that assess employee’s skills, abilities and interests. They consult with external clients to design and implement enterprise-wide assessment projects that will collectively raise the level of engagement, commitment and performance of employees.

Research Psychologist

Research psychologists conduct studies that analyze and evaluate the effects of social, physiological and psychological variables on participants. They use applied and interdisciplinary methodologies to conduct empirical research, gather data, analyze results and draw conclusions. They may use the information gleaned from research to recommend solutions or develop programs and products that enhance everything from well-being to productivity. Most research psychologists will have a Ph.D. in applied psychology with a strong research background from a well-known academic program. They will identify and explore research metrics in order to verify hypotheses and contribute to academic areas of study. For example, they may develop and manage a performance analytics approach that analyzes the memory capacity or perceptive awareness of experiment participants. They will use complex math and statistical models to explain their findings and either support or invalidate public theories and hypotheses.

Related Resource: 49 Most Affordable Small Colleges for a Master’s Degree in Psychology 2016

The careers in applied psychology also include research associate, forensic psychologist and consumer insights specialist.