Help Improve The Quality of Life For The Elderly: Gerontology Degree

Are you interested in the field of aging and would love a career where you can assist in making life better for the elderly? If so, then a degree in gerontology is the best way to get your foot in the door of this industry. Not to be confused with geriatrics, gerontology is a field that deals with all of the multi-faceted aspects related to the process of aging. Because it incorporates elements of sociology, biology and psychology, it is a field of study that can lead to many different career paths. In addition to being an interesting field of study, it is also a great choice for anyone with compassion for the elderly. Whether you want to work directly with the elderly or work in more behind-the-scenes occupations dedicated to improving their quality of life, a gerontology degree is a good starting point.

Gerontology Degree Information

There is a wide range of courses of different levels that are available to anyone interested in studying gerontology. These range from certificate programs all the way to assiocate’s, bacherlor’s and master’s degrees.

Gerontology Certifications

Certificate courses in gerontology are available for those who don’t have a lot of time to study and are interested in entry level positions in the industry. Typically the only requirement to enroll in these type of courses is a high school diploma.

Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology

A Bachelor of Arts degree in gerontology is geared towards improving your comprehension of all the different aspects involved with aging and longevity. This includes psychological, physical and social aspects that are faced by the elderly population. The course also looks at the needs of the elderly and how they impact society. Course topics usually include topics such as mental well-being and aging, psychology of aging, social policy and aging as well as aging and health. With this type of degree you can also add a specialization, such as health care informatics systems to your program, depending on where you study. Completing a bachelor’s degree in this field usually takes about four years.

Master of Arts in Gerontology

After completing a bachelor’s degree in the field, students can also go on to obtain a Master of Arts in Gerontology. This degree is also ideal for people who are already working in the field of public health, social work or medicine, but would like to expand their skills. This comprehensive course covers topics such as health and aging, adult development and aging, policy issues in aging and social gerontology. With a master’s degree in this field you can go on to work in leadership roles in the industry or focus your attention on gerontological research.

Gerontology Degree FAQs

Can Gerontology Be Studied Online?

Gerontology can be studied by attending a university campus, but it is also available in an entirely online format. In addition to being affordable, studying online also offers you the convenience of round the clock access to courses. This means you can study when you have the time and complete your degree at your own pace. Online courses in the field of gerontology typically focus on social services, policy, communication and other nonclinical aspects of the field, although there are also courses available where the hands-on training portion can be done at an external location.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Gerontology?

The field of gerontology is ideally suited to people who care about the elderly population and have a lot of compassion for their needs. Many of the careers in gerontology involve spending a lot of time with older people, so this is something that you should enjoy doing. You should be open to learning new ideas and expanding your knowledge as gerontology covers topics sociology, biology and a range of other fields.

What Are My Possible Career Options After Completing My Studies?

There are many career paths that can be followed by anyone with a degree in gerontology. Your options will typically depend on what type of qualification you have earned as well as the type of career that you are interested in pursuing. Some of the common jobs associated with gerontology include home health administrator, geriatric care manager, case manager, mental health aide, residential counselor and group home manager. Other jobs include grief counselors, herbalists, grant writers and art therapists. In short, most degrees in the field of gerontology serve to prepare you to work with the elderly in settings that range from nursing homes and retirement centers to community mental health agencies and senior centers. Bear in mind that for some careers you might need additional certification or experience before you can start working. For example, many states require you to be a registered nurse if you want to work as a geriatric nurse in a clinical setting. The same goes for certain types of social workers, so check the requirements of your state to find out exactly what is needed from you.

What Are The Median Salary For People Working In The Field of Gerontology?

As with most jobs, the salary you can potentially earn with a degree in gerontology will largely depend on the industry in which you end up working, your position as well as your experience level. For example, occupational employment statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that healthcare social workers earned an annual wage of $52,380 during 2015 with some salaries reaching as high as $77,880. Medical and health services managers earned about $94,500 per year. In general, the job outlook for careers in the field of gerontology is very positive.

What Are The Other Advantages Of Studying Gerontology?

Because gerontology is such a multidisciplinary field, it features numerous sub-fields as well as associated fields with avenues for employment if you are certified. This means that you are not just confining yourself to a narrow career path when studying this fascinating subject. Gerontology is also a popular area of study for people who value job security as in most countries there is a growing elderly population. People in these countries are also living longer on average than ever before, so a lot of growth can be expected in careers that involve gerontology. Of course, we all grow old, so studying gerontology can also help you to prepare better for your own old age.

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