Online Bachelor Degree Programs Available in Gerontology
Pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Gerontology
If you earn your online bachelor degree in gerontology, you will find that it can be extremely fulfilling to work with the elderly. Often you will come into contact with men and women who once supported so many others, who are now either in need of constant care or just... some help with everyday tasks.
Entry-level jobs in the area of gerontology usually require you to provide basic services to those who are no longer self-sufficient. You may need to help wash, dress, and feed patients. To get a job beyond entry-level services or administrative work, you will likely need to have at least a bachelor degree in gerontology. Depending on your area if concentration, once you've completed your undergraduate degree you can pursue a career in geriatric healthcare, senior recreation, social work, advocacy for the elderly, or related areas.
If you pursue an online bachelor degree in gerontology, your coursework will likely focus on studying the aging process, which includes physiological, psychological, and social issues that older adults deal with. You will need to take a combination of courses related to biological science and sociology as well as fulfilling your liberal arts requirements. When looking into online bachelor degree programs, you should also consider schools that offer internships and hands-on opportunities to learn and gain experience outside the classroom. Most students who study gerontology at the bachelor degree level spend time volunteering or interning at organizations that provide services to the elderly, such as long-term care nursing facilities or senior centers.
To be prepared to handle the courses required in a bachelor level program, , it helps to have taken science courses at an advanced level in high school or in college. Other skills that will help you to succeed as an undergraduate and, later, as a professional in the field, include strong verbal and written skills, patience when dealing with people who have disabilities, and a true passion for nurturing and supporting elderly persons.
To help you network within the field and pursue your career, you may want to join Sigma Phi Omega (SPO), the national academic honor and professional society in gerontology. You can also join the Gerontological Society of America, which is a multidisciplinary organization for professionals in the field of aging.
Especially if you plan to work in a healthcare related field, you might look into further education. Advanced training or certifications are most likely needed if you wish to pursue other opportunities such as working as a nurse practitioner, health services manager, counselor, social worker, occupational therapist, physical therapist, elder-law lawyer, or long-term care case worker.
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