Careers and Alumni
The field of Industrial and Organizational (I-O) psychology is dedicated to applying psychology to people in the workplace. I-O psychologists try to understand and measure human behavior to improve employees' satisfaction with their work, improve employers' ability to select and promote the best people, and to generally make the workplace better for the men and women who work there. They do this by creating tests and by designing products such as training courses, selection procedures, and surveys.
Industrial and organizational psychologists with master's degrees typically work in management consulting firms, human resource departments, or executive search organizations. Graduates from our MS program at Xavier have working in positions such as management consultant, organizational development specialist, human resources generalist, executive recruiter, and research analyst in organizations such as HCR Manorcare, Global LEAD Management Consulting, OKI Systems, Inc, Northstar Consulting, PeopleScout, and Good Samaritan Hospital.
For job postings in Industrial-Organizational psychology, visit SIOP's JobNet website. JobNet is an employment service offered by SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology) to link employers who are looking for I-O psychologists.
Alumnus: Kevin Richie
Xavier Degrees: M.A. (I-O Psychology, 2005)
Current Position: Vice President, Talent Management for eviCore Healthcare. I oversee Talent Acquisition, Organization and Leadership Development, People Analytics, and Diversity & Inclusion.
Career Path: Upon completing my master’s coursework, I transitioned into an HR analyst role at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI; a large Catholic hospital system). I spent nearly a decade in various roles within that organization, from HR analyst to Director of Comp and Analytics, to Director of Workforce Development, to Director and Senior HRBP, and finally, Vice President of Workforce Planning and Talent Acquisition. Thereafter, following a VP role with KentuckyOne (a subsidiary of CHI), I relocated to the Nashville, TN area to work for Corizon. At Corizon, I oversaw Talent Management and Org Development which included OD/LD, TA, and analytics. From Corizon, I moved to my current role at eviCore, which was purchased by Express Scripts just as I was beginning my employment. In 2018, Cigna Healthcare purchased Express Scripts, so I am now part of a 74,000 person, Fortune 15 Company.
The Xavier Experience: The I/O program at Xavier most prepared me for career and my various roles by reinforcing and rewarding my ability to think critically. For example, I have the ability to push back on programs that are not grounded in research. At Xavier, I developed an understanding of the importance of balancing an academic and a real world approach. Through the courses, projects, and work experience, I experienced a very healthy balance at Xavier, which prepared me well for professional life. I think our alumni are as capable as, or more capable than, many graduates of Ph.D. programs, although many Xavier I/O graduates have gone on to complete a Ph.D. Xavier I/O graduates easily find roles of value and those that have great impact in the professional world.
Alumna: Sjen Johnson
Xavier Degrees: M.A. (I-O Psychology, 2010)
Current Position: I’m the head of HR for Astronomer, a Cincinnati-based, venture-funded tech startup. I manage all HR functions, but my emphasis is on culture, recruiting, and talent development - our CEO refers to me as their performance coach. I’m the executive champion for Astronomer’s cultural council and employee resource groups. I sometimes volunteer as an advisor for Xavier’s I-O program.
Career Path: Prior to attending Xavier’s master’s program, I had 15 years of work experience, five of which were in HR. After graduating from the program, I worked at a logistics company for four years as a Training & Organizational Development Specialist and HR Business Partner. Next, I worked for Kroger for five years as an instructional designer, program manager, and facilitator for leadership development.
The Xavier Experience: My career would not have been possible without Xavier’s master’s program. The combination of what we learned and the opportunities we had to apply that knowledge prepared me for every role I’ve had since. I was able to add value on day one, confident that my recommendations were grounded in science. As much as I feared the stats and research courses, having that body of knowledge has given me a unique, competitive advantage (and the nickname “quant jock” at my first job out of grad school, much to my surprise). The faculty are world class - not only as professors, but as human beings.