Online Master's Degree in Healthcare - Gerontology
If you'd like to play an integral part in the care of seniors, you can earn a degree in gerontological healthcare, which deals with the social and psychological processes of aging. Read on for more information about how you can earn this degree online. Learn how to choose a school, and get program and career details. Schools offering Gerontology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Why Should I Pursue an Online Master's Degree in Gerontological Healthcare?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master's degree is the standard industry credential to become a healthcare manager. If you already hold a position in a social services, healthcare or senior center, you have experience in dealing with an older population. A master's degree program can fill out your formal training in gerontology, increasing your abilities to manage the provision of physical and mental healthcare to seniors.
If you want to study while keeping your current job, online programs allow you to apply principles learned in class directly to a real-life situation. These programs are generally presented asynchronously, giving you access to your courses at times that are convenient to you.
|Program Fields||Master of Arts, Master of Science|
|Common Courses||Aging assessment and research, psychology, long-term care, physical health, senior nutrition|
|Other Requirements||Internship or capstone may be required|
|Median Salary||$92,810 (2014)|
How Can I Find a Program?
There are several sources that might help you find a suitable program. The Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA) maintains an online directory of schools that offer certified and non-certified programs at all education levels. The Commission on Accreditation of Health Management Education (CAHME) also maintains an online directory. The CAHME site only lists graduate-level courses. The online database of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) may also prove helpful in your search.
What Can I Expect?
An online graduate program in gerontology usually consists of 30-36 credits and leads to a Master of Arts or Master of Science. Typical courses include organization and management of programs, research and assessment of aging, environment and aging, physical health and nutrition of seniors, delivery of services, psychology, physiology, economic aspects of aging, long-term care and human resources management.
You may be required to complete a capstone project or serve an internship. Internships may be completed at your place of employment. Upon completion, you should be familiar with the psychological, social and physical issues that face seniors. According to the BLS, if your degree in gerontology secures you a position as an administrator in a nursing care or assisted-living facility, you may be required to sit for a state licensure examination.
What Are Some Wage and Employment Projections?
The BLS expected employment opportunities for all medical and health services managers to increase 17% from 2014-2024. This is faster than the national average for all occupations. The size of the increase may be due in part to a growing senior population and the consequent need for more healthcare and medical services, especially in the area of gerontology. In 2014, the BLS determined the median annual wage for all medical and health services managers to be $92,810.
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