- Best Online Gerontology Programs in 2020
- Getting Familiar with Online Gerontology Programs
- Online Gerontology Degree Program Options
- What Can You Do with a Degree in Gerontology?
- Understanding Accreditation for Online Gerontology Programs
- Finding Help Paying Your Online Gerontology Degree
- Recommended Gerontology Degree & Career Resources
Today’s Best Accredited Online Gerontology Programs
Online gerontology degree programs can lead to a number of rewarding jobs, but students must find the best school for their needs first. In order to help you find the school that will allow you to reach your career aspirations, we have compiled the following list of the country’s best gerontology programs. These accredited schools were chosen based on their flexible curriculum, affordable price, and the career-ready skills that graduates leave with. Continue reading to learn about three of the best online gerontology programs – and check back soon for our complete 2020 college ranking.
Getting Familiar with Online Gerontology Programs
Maybe you’ve thought about studying gerontology, but aren’t sure exactly what it is or what you actually learn in a degree program. Or perhaps you’ve already decided to get a degree in gerontology, but want to know what earning one online would be like. No matter your situation, chances are you have many questions about earning an online gerontology degree, and you can find the answers below.
Online Gerontology Degree Program Options
Whether students are learning about gerontology for the first time in order to land an entry-level position or are already healthcare professionals who want to deepen their knowledge of gerontology to get a higher-level position, there is a program available that suits their needs. Below are descriptions of online gerontology degrees available at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as certification programs in gerontology.
Gerontology as a Specialization Within Other Degree Programs
Some schools offer gerontology as a standalone degree program, while others offer it as a concentration within a degree in a different academic discipline. The following are examples of other degree programs that may have a gerontology specialization.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Gerontology?
People who earn a gerontology degree often pursue careers involving the direct or indirect administration of services to the elderly and older adults. Whether they want to provide daily healthcare services for patients in a nursing home or contribute to the policymaking process that impacts the services older people can receive, people who earn an online degree in gerontology can play numerous roles to help make the lives of the elderly better. The following are examples of some of the career options available to gerontology graduates.
Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides
Home health aides and personal care aides provide help to older people who have disabilities and illnesses that may preclude them from carrying out daily activities on their own. These professionals help their clients with housekeeping, going to doctor’s appointments, bathing, and getting dressed. In addition, they may help their clients meet dietary needs by grocery shopping for them and preparing their meals.
Typical Education Required: Associate Degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 36%
Median National Salary (2018): $24,060
Health Educators and Community Health Workers
Health educators and community health workers can use their gerontology degrees to promote good health and wellness among senior citizens and educate the community about the needs of this group. Specific job duties include using data to determine the health needs of the older people in their area, providing feedback that is used to create new programs or improve existing ones, and advocating on behalf of the elderly in their community.
Typical Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 11%
Median National Salary (2018): $46,080
Social and Human Service Assistants
Social and human service assistants, who often work closely with social workers, help to provide assistance to elderly people in the community by locating services such as personal care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, meal delivery, housing, and veterans services. These professionals—who can find employment at government agencies, residential care facilities, or hospitals—research services, assist clients with paperwork, and follow up to ensure that the services they found are making a difference in clients’ lives.
Typical Education Required: Associate’s Degree or Certificate
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 13%
Median National Salary (2018): $33,750
Those who want to train gerontologists can seek a postsecondary teacher position after earning their doctoral degree. These teachers work closely with students to ensure that they understand the field, which involves giving lectures, creating and grading tests and assignments, and providing guidance if students need extra help. In addition, college professors may also conduct research to expand the knowledge of professionals in the gerontology field.
Typical Education Required: Doctoral Degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 11%
Median National Salary (2018): $78,470
Understanding Accreditation for Online Gerontology Programs
When looking for an online gerontology program, it’s important to only consider schools that have been accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education (DOE). This will ensure you get the high-quality education you need to reach your career goals. Accredited schools are required to undergo a strenuous review process so you can feel confident you’re earning a worthwhile degree. Schools are accredited by regional organizations like the Higher Learning Commission, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by national associations like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
There are currently no organizations recognized by the DOE that specifically accredit gerontology programs. However, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education offers a list of “programs of merit” where schools gain recognition through a voluntary review process. The Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council is another organization that approves gerontology programs, but has not yet gained recognition from the DOE. You can use approval from these organizations as an extra way to determine a program’s quality, but it should not be mistaken for real accreditation.
Finding Help Paying Your Online Gerontology Degree
No matter what program students choose, paying for an online gerontology degree can be challenging. Although the prospect of paying for a degree may seem overwhelming at first, there are ways for students to save money through financial aid. From student loans to scholarships and grants to internship programs, there are many avenues students can take to lower the cost of their degree.
For more information about how you can find and apply for financial aid to help pay for a gerontology degree program, read through our financial aid guide. You can also apply for one of EduMed’s four scholarships and learn about other scholarship opportunities on our dedicated scholarships page.
Recommended Gerontology Degree & Career Resources
Looking for even more information on degrees and careers in gerontology? We’ve put together the following list of top online resources so you can continue your research and keep on top of the latest industry trends.
Professional Gerontology Organizations
- American Society on Aging
- The Gerontological Society of America
- American Geriatrics Society
- National Association for Professional Gerontologists
- National Council on Aging
- Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education
- Southern Gerontological Society
- Georgia Gerontology Society
- International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America