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Any notable experiences/info about terminal I/O master's programs?


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Hi, all -


I am trying to narrow down the list of terminal I/O master's programs I'd like to apply to for fall 2015. 


I am still in the early stages of researching these programs, but since this forum seems to be pretty active, I am hoping some of you lovely people can provide some insight. 


What programs have you come across that stuck with you for some reason? Or if there are any current students or grads out there, what did you think of your program or the programs you applied to/attended? 


A little about my interests: I know I am mainly interested in applied work after completing whatever program I pick. I am currently interning in an HR department for a large corporation, which has piqued my interest in programs like ASU's I/O and Human Resources Management (IOHRM) Master's Program... but at the same time, I don't want to rule out more traditional I/O programs just yet. 


Thank you!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

What type of applied work do you want to do exactly? Are your interests more with the 'I' side of I/O (i.e., selection, training, performance appraisal, etc.), or more on the 'O' side (i.e., organizational change, groups, leadership, etc.). I would say that your specific interests will be valuable in identifying what programs to apply to as some programs emphasize one side more than the other in their coursework and opportunities.


I am currently an I/O master's student at the University at Albany. I can tell you that our program emphasizes the 'I' side a little more than the 'O' side. We take a few courses on the 'O' side, but it could be argued that the majority of our coursework is intended to prepare us as practitioners on the 'I' side. The distinction between the two sides is blurred sometimes, but I found that knowing I wanted to do more selection and training work made the program a good fit for my interests. Additionally, the opportunities available to us are also on the 'I' side. We have opportunities through our program to work with the New York State Dept. of Civil Service and also with Chequed.com (a predictive talent solutions company from the area). Is there a certain part of HR management that interests you? Is HR the route you definitely want to go?

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Thanks for your response and the information about your program! I appreciate your suggestion to consider the program focus ('I' versus 'O') when narrowing down programs, and it sounds like you found a program that is a great fit for you.


I definitely lean more towards the 'O' side, as you put it, especially organizational climate/change... However, since I haven't had any I-O education (aside from the Landy & Conte textbook I am reading on my own), I find myself wondering if my interests would shift with formal education or experience (like they did during undergrad). I wish I had some experience with I-O specifically (e.g., classes, internships, etc.) because I think it'd help me clarify my interests a bit, but I am having difficulty digging up those kinds of opportunities. Did anything in particular help you narrow down your I-O interests?


I am not convinced HR is the route for me, although I am enjoying it; it was just the most accessible as far as gaining internship/practical experience in my area. 

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I found that work experience was the most valuable in identifying that I wanted to pursue graduate study for I/O. This is something I have heard from fellow classmates as well. Specifically, in my case, there were certain aspects of jobs that I had that I really enjoyed. The aspects that I enjoyed most were closely related to selection (i.e., I helped with an internship program at one of my jobs, and at another, I helped people look for employment). Once I got to grad school and took a few classes, it became more apparent that selection was the particular area of I/O that I was most interested in.


Finding opportunities to actually gain experience directly in I/O are few and far between unless you are already an I/O graduate student. However, if you can get related experience like you are in your HR internship, I would say that its a great start.  


I am not all that knowledgeable about the job market for 'O' side occupations, but it is something I would look into if I were you. From what I have learned, most people who are in terminal master's programs are interested in applied work and most applied work is on the 'I' side - just something to consider. 

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You both have given me (and other readers, I hope) a lot to think about! Thank you!


I/O The Derry-O - It is reassuring to hear that your work experience helped you narrow down your interests. Also, I will make sure to look into job opportunities for master's-level positions focused more the organizational side of the field... just to make sure they are actually out there. The same goes for the master's programs themselves. Many of the ones I've looked into do seem to lean toward the 'I' side. 


Elanti - Thanks for the input about the internships at SJSU! I hadn't looked into that program at all (past the listing on SIOP's site), but I absolutely will now. 

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