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Occupational Psychology

#1 Occupational Psychology
03/07/2008 16:32


Hi all,

I am currently working towards my MSc on Occupational Psychology at Goldsmiths College in London, I will be graduating in September 2008.

I am looking to apply to consultancy firms, preferably smaller organisations. I am finding more and more that companies are looking for individuals who have experience with Blue Chip Companies. I have good work experience for my age and stage but it is not the experience they are looking for.

Does anyone know of any management consultancies that have people performance departments that are looking to take on Occupational Psychologists? I am a very focused individual who literally can’t wait to start applying my knowledge and skills in this field.

Thank you,


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#2 RE: Occupational Psychology
03/07/2008 20:06

TC to Kirsty (#1)

Hi Kirsty,

I worked on a project that a consultant from Stanton Marris was also working on. When I researched them they all seemed to be Psychologists.

They seemed to be a very competent consultancy, if a little pompous.

The website is:



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#3 RE: Occupational Psychology
04/07/2008 07:43

bbijjiw to TC (#2)

Do any of the big boys (MBBB, ATK, Monitor, Mercer) have any focus on this area? I am very interested too

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#4 RE: Occupational Psychology
04/07/2008 09:01

anon to bbijjiw (#3)

That looks very interesting!

As a psychology graduate working in a Big 4 firm doing that kind of work would these smaller firms that specialize in this area offer the same pay and career progressions as Big 4 or more/less?

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#5 RE: Occupational Psychology
04/07/2008 10:13

Nokia to bbijjiw (#3)

bbijjiw - they tend to sub-contract to specialist firms or individuals for the occupational psychology elements of a project. They do employ people who have previously qualified as psychologists, but in a more general management/org strategy consulting role.

anon - the market for occupational psychology consulting is very fragmented as it's a specialised field with high barriers to entry - there aren't the economies of scale in the projects that you find in large-scale SI engagements for example. As a result, the best practices and (and best-paid) practitioners are generally found in small firms (or as independent contractors associated to a number of firms). Within the field of occ. psychology, these smaller firms will offer more experience (less time relatively spent on unrelated projects) and so accelerate your progression as an expert. Since the market is biased towards small, niche, firms, there is no disadvantage to having these types of firms on your CV (rather the opposite - having a large firm on your CV may make recruiters in this field unconvinced of how much relevant work you did there). In summary, the niche firms are a better option in this space for professional progression; salaries can be better (but it's difficult to compare apples with apples since contractors and small firms often choose that model specifically so that they can work part-time).

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#6 RE: Occupational Psychology
09/07/2008 12:28

K to Nokia (#5)

I agree with the above posts which relate to being an Occ Psych - the best in the business for this kind of service are Pearn Kandola, YSC, Kaisen and Kiddy and Partners.

What I'm not sure on is whether you want to do Occ Psych per se or would apply these skills in a People focused role?

If it's the later then any consultancies who offer Change Mgt / Human Capital type offerings would allow you to progress this interest.

Hay Group and Towers Perrin are particularly good on the People side of consulting and you wil, find Change Management type work at all MBBB and the big 4 accountancies. Change alongside IT implementation is a bit more like project management but the theroy behind it is all drawn from Org Psych and offers a good basis for getting into people consulting. All the big SIs will offer this

Good luck

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#7 RE: Occupational Psychology
09/07/2008 16:08

anon to K (#6)

Agreed with most of that, except:

1. 'It's difficult to compare apples with apples'

This comparison is easy.

2. Hay Group and Towers Perrin are particularly good on the People side of consulting.

This seems to be, at best, somewhat exaggerated. There may be exceptions but 'particularly good' ? I don't buy that statement at this time.

That said it is an interesting area of consulting.

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#8 RE: Occupational Psychology
10/07/2008 10:20

K to anon (#7)

Hi Anon,

Fair points you make. My comments about HAy and TP are based purely on reputation and comments on this forum. I have had direct experience with Oliver Wyman (the old Mercer Delta guys) and they seem to be very competent in people and change.

I'd be interested to hear who you think are leaders in this area?

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#9 RE: Occupational Psychology
10/07/2008 17:20

anon to K (#8)

There are several fields here joined together. It may look like a field, which in a sense it is, but it's not a perfect rectangle.

The market is fragmented

+ academics influencing business (often from universities with very impressive reputations, but again there are those who see it as a branch of psychology and others who focus more on applying it to the world of work)

+ purer play OP experts like Kaisen

+ top strategy houses including McKinsey, Boston and others

+ other MC's (OliverWyman is a very reasonable example)

TP are more known for areas like benchmarking performance, reward policy in areas of financial services that employ vast numbers of employees.

So there isnt a leader - but I guess it would still be very tough to ignore McKinsey in terms of leading organizations.

It is a vast area of consulting, and one that really does offer a gateway in from academia so dont be easily put off. Oliver Wyman are certainly top contenders.

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