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Online Gerontology Degrees

The baby boomer generation is aging, and in the process, this generation that changed so much about American life is changing the profession of gerontology. As Americans stay healthy and active longer and longer, new ways of understanding old age are reshaping the golden years.

Careers in gerontology

Gerontology is the study of the aging process, including social, mental and physical aspects. It is also the study of changes in society as a result of an aging population. Online gerontology degree programs are available at all levels, from short-term certificates to intensive bachelor's or master's degrees.

Online gerontology degrees provide training for a range of career paths. Applied gerontologists work directly with elderly individuals, families and groups. Administrative gerontologists use their management training to develop programs for the elderly, sometimes affecting social services and public policy. Research gerontologists look at the bigger picture, including the living conditions, social networks and aging process of the elderly, in the hopes of understanding and improving the lives of an aging population. Gerontologists might work in a variety of settings, but the most common are nursing homes, hospitals, senior citizen centers and the like.

Gerontology education and training

Though there are online gerontology degrees at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree level, this is not the only path to becoming a gerontologist. Degrees in sociology, psychology, nursing and social work can also be paths to a gerontologist career. Additionally, certificates in gerontology allow individuals with diverse backgrounds to focus on aging-related aspects of their field, from developing products targeted at aging consumers to specializing in legal issues specific to the elderly.

Individuals with work experience in gerontology can benefit from online gerontology degree programs that can be completed while they gain valuable on-the-job experience with the elderly. For those who want to work in research or educational settings, a doctorate in gerontology generally requires both advanced coursework and independent research.

Gerontology career outlook and salary

The elderly population is expected to boom in the coming years, and that means an increased need for gerontologists. Social workers who specialize in working with elderly populations are projected to see job growth of 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assisted-living and senior-living communities are expected to have strong demand for gerontologists. In 2010, the mean annual wage for medical and public health social workers was $49,200.

Future trends and outlook for the gerontology field

By 2030, the youngest of the 78 million baby boomers will reach the age of 65, according to the Institute of Medicine. In addition, better health care technology means those baby boomers could live longer than their elders did. Gerontologists can be at the forefront of planning new programs that are ready to handle the influx of elderly into hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

Gerontology Schools

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  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
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About Capella University

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

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  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
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  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
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  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
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