Students considering a career working with seniors may wonder what the job outlook in gerontology is. The good news is that the career outlook in this field is very favorable. The following serves as an overview of the gerontology field and why it will be highly in demand for decades to come.
What Is Gerontology?
Gerontology is best defined as the study of aging. Professionals in this fieldwork with people who are of advanced age in a number of different capacities, although geriatrics is the most well-known. The study of gerontology is not limited to the medical aspect but also the psychological and sociological aspects of aging as well. This is a multi-disciplinary field that overlaps significantly with most other fields, including administration, public policy, psychology, the private corporate sector, various scientific disciplines, and more. Gerontologists may work directly with seniors to help improve their lives or may perform more scientific work that studies the process of aging in both humans and other animals.
What Gerontology Careers Are Available?
There are a wide variety of careers available in the gerontology field. The most well-known option is geriatrics, which focuses solely on the medical aspects and diseases associated with aging. This can involve careers in nursing, occupational therapy, medical science, and physicians. However, there are plenty of other options including advocacy, research, activities development, therapy, education, and product development. Mental health counseling is a service needed by many seniors who experience depression or other mental illnesses. Fighting to prevent elder abuse and aid victims is also within the scope of gerontology. Some gerontology professionals do not directly work with elderly people but instead, work behind the scenes to improve their lives.
What Is The Job Outlook Of Gerontology?
The job outlook in gerontology is promising. As people continue to live longer and seniors make up a larger portion of the population, there will be more demand for services and research for their needs. Demand is also higher because the need for specialists, in general, is also high. Students with a specialty in gerontology and who want to improve the lives of seniors will have extremely good job prospects in the decades ahead. Jobs are available in hospitals, private practices, government agencies, private corporations, higher learning institutions, research laboratories, and more. According to PayScale, pay in this field varies dramatically because of the numerous disciplines it involves.
Related Resource: Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Gerontology Online
How Can Individual Gerontology Job Outlook Improve?
Like with most professions, there are things individuals can do to improve their job prospects within this field. Quite a few colleges and universities offer gerontology programs. Completing an internship while pursuing a gerontological degree continues to be one of the best actions students can take while still in school. An internship will provide work experience, references, and perhaps even a job directly upon graduation. Gaining experience by volunteering and working with seniors is also a very wise decision. Certain areas of gerontology, such as geriatrics and geropsychology, have extremely good job outlooks because more demand exists than the number of professionals available. This gives students specializing in those areas much stronger job prospects.
Gerontology is a wide and varied field with plenty of careers to choose from. There is almost certain to be a job within this field that suits individual interests. With such a favorable job outlook in gerontology, it is a discipline worth considering.