I develop surveys and conduct research for organizations.
I work mostly from home. A great day at work is one in which I have numbers to crunch. That means I have a client and surveys are completed. I really like the gathering of data into a format that can be measured. During the day, I might get calls from 2-3 clients and 1 potential client. The clients want to know status of their project or to talk about a future project. A potential client is interested in speaking with me about new projects. On a great day, I do not get calls from salespeople!
Skills that I did not learn in school and are essential for an industrial-organizational (I) professional are consultant skills. These are vital for an internal or external I-O consultant. I need to know how to develop and communicate shared goals, action plans, and results. I must know how to facilitate organizational leadership. Another skill is more SPSS training and experience. I need to know how to conduct a higher level of statistics than I was taught in school.
Here's the first step for high school students
Educational courses including mathematics and psychology. Obtain either an internship, part-time job, or volunteer in an organization for experience in seeing how management executes their jobs. The easiest place to volunteer is a non-profit organization.
"'You cannot study mathematics-you are a girl.' - Society. I was the only girl in the mathematics program at that time in my studies that seemed to give evidence. 'You are too busy being a single mother and working full-time to go back to school' - My parents."
I made a commitment to myself and decided to deal with that noise head-on and move through it. I bought a personalized license plate that symbolized my doctorate and I would not put it on my car until I had my degree. Instead, I hung it over my computer for an inspiration.
I came from the "wrong side of the tracks" with no financial support. To go to state college, I worked to pay my tuition and books. I also did that for my master's degree. For my Ph.D., I obtained a job that had an educational reimbursement program.