What You Should Know About This Degree
Gerontology is a complex field that deals with all aspects of the aging process, including physical, mental, and emotional care for the elderly, and helping individuals, families, and communities cope with the aging process. As such, there are multiple career paths open to those earning a master’s in gerontology, including employment in healthcare facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, social service agencies, government, and private businesses.
Before selecting a master’s in gerontology program, consider what area of the field you are interested in working in, so you can matriculate into a program that will allow you to focus on your area of interest.
Working with elderly populations presents some unique challenges, including working with individuals suffering from dementia or memory loss; navigating the balance between independence and assistance, and developing emotional attachments to individuals who are nearing the end of their lives. Individuals who work with the elderly must be patient, compassionate, and physically and emotionally strong. While a master’s in gerontology program will give you the skills you need for various roles, you should consider whether you have the right natural aptitudes for working in this field.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Gerontology programs:
- How are online courses delivered? Distance learning programs are usually delivered via synchronous or asynchronous classes. Students attend synchronous classes remotely at set times throughout the term. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times. Instead, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Decide which type of delivery method works best for you based on your schedule before selecting a program.
- Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in gerontology programs require students to have an educational or professional background in gerontology or a related human development field. When researching programs, be sure to review their eligibility requirements, to confirm that meet the minimum qualifications for admission.
This is also a good time to gather your application materials. Make note of application deadlines, so you can submit your materials in a timely manner. This will help your admissions process go as smoothly as possible.
Financing your graduate degree is another important consideration. Research funding options including student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and grants. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.