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CBS International Business School, 23 August 2021

What is Business Psychology? Why is it important? Degree, Jobs & Salary


Business psychologists focus on studying the workplace and work on motivating employees and staff to improve working conditions in organisations and ensure a smooth day-to-day business.

You may be wondering, "What is business psychology?" "Why is it important? "What is a business psychologist?" "What can you do with a business psychology degree?” Well, technically there are many things that you can do with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in business psychology. Getting a degree in Business psychology is definitely worth it and it pays off in the long run, because of its diverse field and the various trendy career paths it opens up for you. In this article, we will discuss what business psychology is, why is it important, the different types of business psychology careers and career paths, the roles and responsibilities of business psychologists, business psychology degree programmes and what you learn in them.

Psychology vs. Business Psychology

At first, many people do not have a clear idea of what business psychology is. At parties, you'll usually hear the following reaction: "What? You're studying psychology? I'll have to watch out for that! Can you look into my soul now? Do you want to treat me now and are you interested in my childhood?" The reason: Commonly, many people automatically understand 'psychology' to mean 'clinical psychology,' which actually deals with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders or depression. But business psychology has little to do with this. In a completely different way, the latter focuses on organizations and economies and all the processes there that have to do with people and not with numbers. Let's take a look at the exact meaning of business psychology.  

What is business psychology?

Business Psychology (also referred to as organisational psychology) is defined as the practice of understanding and improving the working life of employees. It combines an understanding of the science of human behaviour with experience of the world of work to gain effective and sustainable performance for both individuals and organisations. What kind of environment do employees need for their optimal development? And how can teams be led effectively? The economy is one of the largest employers of business psychologists. With their specialist knowledge of psychological and economic interrelationships, they play a major role in helping companies to better understand their customers and employees, and in establishing a good working atmosphere. 

What are business psychologists and what do they do?

A business psychologist examines employees and organisations with one goal in mind, which is improving the environment at work and increasing the productivity of employees. A business psychologist evaluates the company’s goals, work strategies, and employees in order to assess areas and tools for improvement.

Business psychologists use the aspects of business psychology first to analyse the issues within the company and then implement solutions accordingly. They use different ways and methods to collect information on employee behaviours, such as interviews, surveys, and polls.

They may also help human resource employees by assessing future candidates to ensure that they are the right fit for the role and the company and to pick the ones that share the same values, mission, and goals with the organisation. Depending on the company or the specific position, business psychologists may also support in developing leadership and training programmes, to help utilize the skills in the best possible way.

As a business psychologist you can expect any of the following tasks:

  • Assist with employee hiring process

  • Increase business efficiency

  • Create a positive work environments

  • Establish employee training and motivation

  • Perform employee appraisals and evaluations

  • Provide employee counseling

  • Improve employee morale

  • Organise and manage initiatives for the overall health and well-being of employees

  • Improve organizational structure 

  • Provide leadership development

What can you do with a business psychology degree? 15 possible career paths!

Business psychology is still a relatively new & young field and is still unknown to the 'masses'. However, business psychologists are some of the most sought-after professionals on the job market. What makes it also interesting is that business psychologists can also compete with 'normal' economists for positions in the personnel and marketing departments of big international corporations. The diverse and versatile nature of the currently offered business psychology degrees and majors enable students to cover a very broad range of topics including many aspects of psychology and multiple soft skills. It is therefore important for young business psychologists to know their own competencies well and to be able to present them. Those who know this and position themselves accordingly are often preferred to graduates of classic degree programs!

The two classic and most common career paths for business psychologists are human resources (which includes, for example, personnel development/selection, training, continuing education), and marketing (with the facets of market research, strategic marketing, advertising, and consumer analysis).

In general, large companies offer business psychologists far more opportunities than smaller ones. Mainly because large corporations deal with topics such as diversity management, corporate social responsibility, or change management, for which business psychologists are often needed. In addition, business psychologists could also be utilized in areas such as internationalization, intercultural cooperation, usability, or assistance.

Here are 15 careers to consider in business psychology

  • Human Factors Specialist

  • Industrial Counselor

  • College Professor

  • Human Resources Executive

  • Market Research Analyst

  • Marketing Executive

  • Corporate Consultant

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

  • Recruitment or Training Specialist

  • Sales Representative

  • Employee Retention Consultant

  • Customer Relationship Specialist

  • Professional Development Coach

  • Customer Service Manager

  • Change Management Specialist

Discover further insights into business psychology careers here.

How much does a business psychologist earn? What is the expected salary?

Business psychologists are increasingly in demand and companies are always on the lookout for them, especially in areas such as personnel development and market research.

Therefore, professionals with a bachelor's or master's degree in Business Psychology, have great chances of landing a lucrative well-paid job. The average starting salary for a business psychologist is 2500 euros per month. However, the compensation varies significantly depending on the industry, experience, and location. Someone with a few years experience can earn up to 3000 to 5000 euros per month. That amount can go up to 10,000 euros for managerial positions. 

Explore additional information regarding varied salaries within the field of business psychology here.

Important qualifications and soft skills for a future career in business psychology

Business psychologists play a crucial role in creating a more productive, positive workplace environment. Companies always look for graduates with good soft skills, i.e. people who can leverage a variety of skills - analytical, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills - people who are approachable and able to relate to others. It is precisely these competencies that make you stand out from the crowd. 

What is a business psychology degree? 

A business psychology degree is an interdisciplinary degree. It deals with two scientific fields and combines economic content with the components of psychology. The standard period of study for a Business Psychology degree at CBS International Business School in Germany is six semesters for an undergraduate degree and four-semester for a graduate one. A semester abroad is integrated into the programmes, and it can be spent at one of our more than one hundred partner universities abroad. You can find a list of our partner universities here. In addition, a mandatory internship of at least eight weeks is also an essential part of the programmes. 

Study Business Psychology - What do you learn in a business psychology degree?

The components of the business psychology program vary from university to university. However, the basics are certainly the following:

Fundamentals in business administration

Introduction to Business Psychology

Marketing, sales, and consumer psychology

General Psychology and Research Methods

Human Resource Management

Communication and Management Competence

Soft skills in leadership and personnel selection

Basics in law


Basics in law


Basic psychological subjects such as:

  • Consumer Psychology

  • Experimental Psychology

  • Psychology in Digital Businesses

  • Organisational Psychology

  • Social Psychology & The Workplace

  • Personality Psychology

  • Neuropsychology & Biological Psychology

  • Media Psychology

In addition to these business psychology courses,  at CBS there are also business projects and business electives that you can individually choose in order to adapt your studies to your interests.

Why study business psychology? Is it worth it?

Studying business psychology allows students to broaden their horizons. It will give you a useful combination of business administration and psychology and thus valuable knowledge that many companies can use in today's world. Students of business psychology also learn a method-oriented way of thinking, which pure business students lack. 

How to become a business psychologist?

To become a business psychologist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in business psychology, or a related field.

At CBS International Business School in Germany, we offer full-time English and German-taught undergraduate and graduate programmes in business psychology. 

Business Psychology Degree: Ready to Take the Next Step?

A Bachelor's or Master's degree in business psychology from CBS International Business School in Germany can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed. Our programmes prepare students to pursue careers in management, in small, medium or large sized companies, and more. 

Go ahead and learn about them here:

English-taught Business Psychology bachelor's degree

German-taught Business Psychology bachelor's degree

English-taught Business Psychology master's degree

German-taught Business Psychology master's degree!

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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