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What Are the Benefits of a Masters in Gerontology Online?

If you're hoping to combine a passion for helping others with your ability to master highly technical skills or knowledge, then pursuing a masters in gerontology online is an excellent decision.

The number of people in the United States over the age of 65 is expected to top 72 million by 2030. That means there will continue to be high demand for people who are trained to meet seniors' unique health needs. In addition, fields such as post-retirement financial planning, recreational programs for seniors, and elder law will continue to grow.

As an interdisciplinary major, studying a masters in gerontology online usually requires you to take courses from a number of different areas such as nursing, nutrition, business, psychology, physical therapy, and sociology.

No matter what area of gerontology you focus on, it is important to have a clear understanding of the aging process including biological and psychological changes, common medical conditions, the role of social interactions, and cultural traditions that influence how an individual deals with growing old. Most professionals working in the field will also need to have a good understanding of public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Being prepared to deal with end-of-life issues is also essential.

When looking for an online master degree program, consider the type of program you want to enroll in. Some schools focus on geriatric research and preparing students to go into academics while others focus on how to practically apply knowledge and skills in professional settings. Identifying your long-term goals will help you determine which school is right for you.

If you are currently working full-time and want to pursue a master degree, you choosing an online program will offer more flexibility, allowing you to complete the assignments around your work schedule and possibly adjust the course content to focus on your specific area of interest.

If you plan to pursue a career as an administrator for a long-term care facility or government agency, you should also consider taking finance and accounting courses and classes in business writing and oral communications.

While salaries within the field of gerontology are generally lower than some other health-related fields, you will have significantly more opportunities to advance and increase your earnings once you have earned your master degree. But to succeed in the field you will need to be able to manage the emotional and sometimes physical demands of working with older adults, many of whom struggle with health issues, depression, loneliness, and other problems that you need to help them through. If you can deal with those challenges, you can enjoy a successful and rewarding career.

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