The field of gerontology is growing. As more people live well into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond, more jobs being created to meet their needs. So career opportunities in gerontology are expected to be very good ongoing.
More and more employers are looking for workers that have at least an... associate degree in gerontology to fill jobs that cater to both ill seniors who need constant care and active older adults interested in recreation and leisure programs.
Studies for an associate degree in gerontology will prepare you to support nurses, social workers, physicians, or other healthcare professionals who support older adults. Once you earn an online associate degree in gerontology, you can work as a geriatric aide, supporting administrators and professionals in nursing homes, senior centers, healthcare facilities, or social service agencies. You might also work one-on-one with clients in private homes. Specific job responsibility will depend on the type of facility you work in or your area of specialty. Geriatric aides often work with elderly patients, helping to feed, dress, and bathe patients who are not physically able to care for their own needs. You might also work on organizing social activities for groups of seniors, provide transportation, or serve as a companion.
An online associate degree program in gerontology will focus on teaching you about the aging process. Courses will train you to take medical information and work with patients. You might look for programs that also offer relevant experience via field work or internships. Courses in liberal arts, sciences, and humanities may also be required to complete your degree.
While pursuing your degree, you might want to look into volunteer opportunities or find entry-level work within an agency that serves older people since having hands-on experience can help you stand out in the job market. With continued work experience, you might be able move up in the field and take on responsibilities such as running a group home.
To succeed in the gerontology field, you should genuinely enjoy interacting with older people and be concerned about their needs. To advance in the field and increase your responsibility and position, you should consider pursuing a bachelor degree or higher with a concentration in a specific area of gerontology such as social services for the elderly, nursing home administration, or financial and estate planning.