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How Can You Benefit from a Gerontology Degree Online?
There may be some reliable career paths out there for individuals that take courses in gerontology. Fueled by an aging population, there is a constant need for professionals in health and human services fields that have specialized knowledge about older people and their unique health concerns. However, there's another element of aging that professionals are studying to both improve quality of life and society at large.
They're called gerontologists. These scientists, researchers, assistants and aides study the biological, social and societal aspects of aging. Instead of focusing on the particular health of one older person - which is the job of a geriatrics professional - they study the impact aging has on the individual, the family and the community. For example, a gerontologist may devote his or her efforts to finding the most sustainable and effective way to care for the elderly population in the community.
They conduct research about the services and support that is most beneficial to the aging populace and also help individuals face-to-face.
If you're looking for a new and exciting career path that affects society at a much higher level while giving back to older individuals at the same time, an online degree in gerontology may be a prime starting point.
A glimpse into the realm of gerontology
Gerontology professionals may pursue a number of different career paths composed of many different responsibilities. They may work in the public or private sector and in various settings. For example, a social and human service assistant may take care of an older person within his or her own place of residence, at a long-term care facility or even in a community center helping older people every day.
On the other side of the spectrum, you could pursue more research work pertaining to the changes in society that will result from an aging population. You may pursue a career with a research organization or a university that specifically conducts studies and analysis to harness valuable data about the way older individuals live and how these lifestyles can be improved and maintained.
Possible salaries for a career in gerontology
Your salary as a gerontologist is largely decided by your specific job title, your level of education, your experience in the industry and your skill. Consider the following careers, with statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.
- Social and human service assistant: 2012 median annual salary of $28,850 (22 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
- Medical scientists: 2012 median annual salary of $76,980 (13 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
- Sociologists: 2012 median annual salary of $74,960 (15 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]
Additional skills required for a career in gerontology
Gerontology is a mixture of studies in psychology, biology, behavior and more. Grasping all of the struggles older people face and analyzing their place in society can be an overwhelming prospect at times. Students may want to focus on being well-rounded and knowledgeable in many different regards to ensure a successful career in gerontology.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-and-human-service-assistants.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm
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