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Gerontology is the study of the aging process and the problems associated with growing old. Studying the physical, mental, and sociological aspects of aging in the elderly population helps communities in looking for and using solutions to offer a better quality of life. This study provides a diverse field of career opportunities ranging from human services to long-term care. As a Gerontologist, you dedicate your efforts in understanding and providing better care for elders, including your aging parents.
A Brief Overview of Gerontology
Specific educational institutions like the University of Southern California may offer Gerontology degrees. Don’t confuse this field of study with geriatrics despite both sectors having similar traits. Geriatrics strictly focuses on diseases and medical conditions regarding aging. Gerontology, however, is a multi-disciplinary study incorporating the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging. If you’re looking for a job in Gerontology, you may find job opportunities in different industries like the government, non-profit organizations, and health sectors.
Attainable Gerontology Degrees
Schools offering Gerontology degrees are available at different educational levels to acquire achievements from undergraduate certificates to doctorate accomplishments. The following are educational degrees attainable if you wish to gain a deeper understanding of Gerontology:
- Gerontology Certifications
Ideal for students looking for entry-level positions in the health industry. Certified entry-level Gerontologists may use their skills and knowledge of the several topics in caring for aging patients as they work in nursing homes, senior day care centers, and the private homes of senior citizens. You can also use the acquired knowledge to care for your senior relatives. Numerous educational institutions require students to have a high school diploma at least to undergo a Gerontology undergraduate certificate program.
- Gerontology Associate Degrees
Associate or vocational degree programs in this field of study may be two-year courses focusing on general learnings of Gerontology. Individual colleges may require students to undergo an internship program to complete the course. Gerontology associate degrees may help serve as a stepping stone to an entry-level career. It may also assist in advancing an existing career or offer additional knowledge to a bachelor’s degree program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees in Gerontology
Students with a desire to attain a bachelor’s degree in Gerontology may look for entry- to mid-level positions in the elderly healthcare sector. Colleges may require learners to complete a four-year course plus an internship.
- Master’s Degrees in Gerontology
If you’re a current professional in the medical field, you may want to pursue additional knowledge in Gerontology by attending and participating in a master’s degree program. The course can provide extra pieces of information about the biological, political, and socioeconomic factors affecting elderly communities.
Careers for Gerontology Master’s Degree Holders
Achieving a master’s degree in Gerontology opens new doors to new career paths. The following are a few career options for Gerontology master’s degree holders:
- Geriatric Care Manager
As a geriatric care manager, tasks involved include the assessment of the quality of life issues for the elderly. This career option requires you to be knowledgeable in related studies to ensure senior citizens receive the services they need. You should also be proficient in providing legislative needs at the right level that can positively affect the older population. Government institutions, advocacy organizations, and private agencies may seek geriatric care managers to assist in leading and managing teams in the field.
- Assisted Living or Retirement Home Administrator
Master’s degree holders of Gerontology may choose to become administrators of assisted living centers or retirement homes. You have to oversee daily activities while handling community, financial, and marketing relations to help enhance the organization’s operations and return on investment (ROI) opportunities.
- Administrative Gerontologist
Administrative Gerontologists use their acquired training to create, disseminate, and organize services to help benefit seniors in the physical, mental, and social facets. Organizations may use your expertise in overseeing operations in a hospital specializing in elderly care. You may also use your acquired knowledge and skills to directly help senior adults in filing paperwork to apply and claim for insurance.
- Gerontology Researcher
If you wish to pursue a greater understanding of Gerontology, you may want to become a Gerontology researcher. This career entails you to undertake both medical and social research. You may find researcher positions in government and private organizations that aim to support the elderly community in ensuring a better quality of life.
- Stay-at-Home Caregiver to Parents and Relatives
Holding a Master’s Degree in Gerontology allows you to take better care of your parents and senior relatives. Employ advanced techniques in taking care of seniors in your family to assist them in handling everyday tasks.
Other careers available for Gerontology degree holders include pharmacists, health educators, and physical therapists. Different sectors have a demand for Gerontologists to work with senior citizen patients. Master’s degree holders who have completed hands-on training have a better understanding than undergraduate or bachelor’s degree holders in securing the needs of elderly individuals. Search for an accredited program to earn your preferred Gerontology degree to take better care of senior citizens, including the older adults in your household.