In the field of I/O psychology, it's a sellers' market for recent graduates who have a quantitative specialty in areas like test development and test validation research, says Jim Sharf, PhD, who owns Sharf & Associates, Employment Risk Advisors, in Alexandria, Va.

"The market is not quite as attractive for the 'fresh out' on the 'o-b' [organizational-behavioral] side as it is on the 'i' [industrial] side because of the scarcity and the demand for someone who had a good quantitative, psychometric grounding."

But, say those in the field, companies will hire recent grads because it saves them money. "For any firm, the advantage is to hire a 'fresh out' because they are not as expensive as someone with five to 10 years of experience, much less someone with a lot more experience," Sharf says.

Women are gravitating toward I/O, with good reason.

"A majority of our graduate students in the pipeline are now women," Sharf says. "It is identified as a very attractive career prospect with great growth and career development opportunities for women."

--J. COHEN