As the elderly population grows, so too does the necessity for high-quality services that can attend to the needs of senior citizens. Gerontology master’s programs are structured to give future professionals the skills and knowledge that are required to manage elderly care. While enrolled, students will explore about human development and the way that aging affects cognition. They will also learn about the various treatments and programs that can be used to improve the quality of life for senior citizens. Upon graduating, students can manage assisted care facilities, help influence policy, and work in health care education.
Why a Master’s Degree?
A master’s degree is a student’s best bet for securing a job as a coordinated care supervisor, clinical manager, or program coordinator. It shows employers that they are highly knowledgeable about the needs and concerns of the elderly. In addition, master’s degree programs open up the academic career field for students who hope to teach gerontology to future professionals. Finally, a master’s degree can set the foundation for a career in research on improvements in public policy and elderly care.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Exact qualifications for the master’s program will vary. Usually, universities expect students to have the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in a related health field.
- GPA of 2.0 or higher.
- Recommendation letters.
- Passing GRE Scores.
Inside a Gerontology Master’s Degree Program
To be successful in the field, students must learn how to communicate with fellow gerontology professionals and patients. They must learn to think both ethically and critically, as well as determine ways to solve problems. In addition, they need to have an accurate understanding of human development, the aging process, cognition, and psychology. To acquire this knowledge, they will take classes like the psychology of development and aging, biological aspects of aging, and current issues in gerontology.
As students earn their gerontology masters online, they will also take classes in professional development. They will learn about project management, program development, and case analysis. They will also become familiar with effective teamwork. In total, it should take around two years for full-time students to complete the master’s program. Part-time students may be enrolled for a longer period of time.
What’s Next for Gerontology Master’s Degree Holders?
Upon graduating, students can become medical and health services managers. This is a position that guides facilities and programs in offering the best possible services for the elderly. Managers can supervise facilities, employees, and departments. They may work for the government or for private clinics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they earn around $98,460 annually. Job outlooks are strong as well, with growth projected at 22% by 2020. Keep in mind, however, that these figures can vary.
Students who want to pursue higher education can earn doctoral degrees. Doctorate degrees are a good way to foster a career in academia. They also promote a high-level understanding of the field, which can lead students to acquire promotions and raises. The research experience acquired during doctoral degrees can benefit a student’s current or future career as well.