Paper Example - Career Research Project

Published: 2023-08-10
Paper Example - Career Research Project
Essay type:  Proposal essays
Categories:  Research Career Social change Lifespan development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1471 words
13 min read

Gerontology is a career that investigates both the mental and physical challenges that affect older adults. The career also examines the shifts that happen in society as aging individuals continue to grow in number, which then forces the development of various programs needed to address such societal changes (Horowitz et al., 136). The professionals that study gerontology advocate for aging individuals and assist them in maintaining a high quality of life. In the United States alone, the aging population is growing, creating opportunities for individuals who pursue a career in gerontology.

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From the census forecasts, by 2035, the number of older adults for the first time in the history of the United States will outnumber children. The increasing number of adults will lead to increased demand for social services and healthcare (Gonzales et al., 256). The paper discusses the reasons for pursuing a career in gerontology, the reasons that make a career in gerontology a great choice, job requirements in gerontology, job availability, earning potential for a career in gerontology, and impacts of gerontology on service and support of older adults.

Reasons for pursuing a Career in Gerontology

Most individuals pursue a career in gerontology because of several career opportunities that it presents and the opportunity that it enables to work with older adults in the process of helping with various services across various fields. A career in gerontology is excellent, primarily when gerontology programs are provided to students pursuing the career. Gerontology programs equip with skills that help to better understand the process and challenges that the aging population undergoes (Gonzales et al., 259). Another reason for pursuing a career in gerontology is to explore the effects caused by the aging population on society. Also, to have a more compassionate outlook of the community now that the number of the aging population is growing faster, especially in the United States wherein few years to come, the number of older adults might be more compared to the number of children.

A career in gerontology enables professionals to work closely with individuals from various backgrounds through frequent collaboration with administrative, medical, and social service professionals. More so, a career in gerontology opens doors to many lucrative and rewarding job opportunities through its ability to working in diverse industries. It positions professionals as health services and medical managers, social workers, and research analysts. There are increased opportunities in the current world for gerontologists to assist the aging population, and they can experience substantial career growth (Horowitz et al., 137). The need for gerontology professionals is needed in high numbers as Americans, and other people all over the world live longer as the aging population needs financial, medical, and social support.

Reasons that Makes Gerontology a Great Choice

Gerontology is the most diverse field that cuts across many areas in human services such as retirement communities, long-term and health care institutional care, government agencies, and nursing homes. It offers an excellent opportunity to study the changes that occur in society regarding the aging individuals, the changes that adults undergo as they grow older. It also allows engaging in various programs and knows the ways of applying multiple policies that address the lives of older adults. According to Eshbaugh et al. (2013), in terms of salary, gerontology is an excellent choice, primarily working as an occupational therapist for over ten years as a therapist will pay a lot of salaries, about 82,000 dollars (156).

A career in gerontology is an excellent choice because the graduates with gerontology degrees can access various opportunities in several industries, which varies by degree and experience. Gerontology presents its professionals with diverse career paths ranging from education, social work, nursing, occupation therapy, healthcare management, research, to administration. A career in gerontology gives a chance to work in senior care companies as a consultant to different departments of such companies.

Another reason that makes gerontology a great choice is a fact that gerontology degrees are available at all levels of education, ranging from certificates in undergraduate to Ph.D. in the same field. Thus, it is possible to pursue an undergraduate degree and continue on the same field up to the Ph.D. level, which is so great (Horowitz et al., 142). An individual can start with getting a certificate in senior daycare centers or nursing homes by studying short courses in gerontology, then move to associate degree to cover courses that are specific to gerontology and general education courses for about two years. Getting an associate degree enables an individual to move to the next level, which is a bachelor’s degree in gerontology for four years.

Job Requirements in Gerontology

As gerontologist can seek a career in various fields, the job requirements needed in each specialty differs. Each industry has its own certification and license. Practicing as a private gerontologist needs a license that varies from employer to employer and from state to state. Healthcare occupations need licensure or certification. Then, nursing homes employ nursing aides who are required to have completed a minimum of seventy-five hours of examination and training, which are then entered into the state registry.

The United States federal law requires home health aides to have completed a competency exam that is related to home health care, and it has to be tested in twelve areas. A registered nurse must have done the supervision of the training and examination. Those who choose to be social workers should be registered or licensed by states where they operate with an emphasis on cultural diversity, ethics, and communication. In the United States, the gerontologists can also get certification from bodies and associations, like the American Society on Aging, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Gerontological Society of America, and Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Job Availability and Earning Potential for a Career in Gerontology

Gerontologists have a great job opportunity. Earning a gerontology degree at any level is beneficial for most careers that deal with helping the aging individuals, which then makes the possibilities of a career in gerontology to be numerous.

The earning potential for a career in gerontology is not uniform in all the industries that the professionals can work as salaries vary according to industry. A data on the median salaries at different gerontology jobs shows that the best-paying Gerontologists are the occupation therapists whose salaries are distributed as follows; entry-level employees are 66,000 dollars, early-career employees are 70,000 dollars, then the mid-career social worker earn 76,000 dollars, while experienced earn 82,000 dollars (Eshbaugh et al., 157). The least paying job for gerontology professionals is the caregiver which its salaries are distributed as follows; entry-level employees are 21,000 dollars, early-career employees are 24,000 dollars, then the mid-career social worker earns 30,000 dollars, while experienced earn 30,000 dollars (Eshbaugh et al., 156).

Impacts of Gerontology on Service and Support of Older Adults

Gerontology, as a career, offers both direct and indirect services to aging individuals. Some of the direct services and support it provides are analysis of various issues concerning older adults ranging from income maintenance, housing alternatives, retirement opportunities, to health care system; provision of counseling service to the aging individuals and their families on issues such as employment, health, and caregiving; provision of direct care to older persons who are ill, frail, or impaired who are in nursing homes, hospitals, or clinics; creation of programs such as older persons intergenerational activities and health promotion.

Gerontology also offers indirect support and services to older persons. Some of the indirect services it offers are the administration of government programs based on communities by gerontologists; provision of advisory services to labor and businesses concerning older consumers and workers; advocating on behalf of aging individuals, teaching the older adults on various subjects that might affect their lives; and designing several products tailored to meet the unique needs and interests for the aging population.

In conclusion, gerontology examines the shifts that happen in society as aging individuals continue to grow in number, which then forces the development of various programs needed to address such societal changes. It is pursued because of several career opportunities that it presents and the opportunity that it enables to work with older adults in the process of helping with various services across various fields. Gerontology is an excellent choice because of the job opportunities its presents, which are available in diverse industries and good salaries it offers.

Works Cited

Eshbaugh, Elaine, et al. “Promoting careers in gerontology to students: What are undergraduates seeking in a career?” Gerontology & geriatrics education 34.2 (2013): 150-160., Ernest, Christina Matz-Costa, and Nancy Morrow-Howell. “Increasing opportunities for the productive engagement of older adults: A response to population aging.” The Gerontologist 55.2 (2015): 252-261., Beverly P., Jennifer Tagliarino, and Kimberly Look. “Occupational therapy education, attitudes on aging, and occupational therapy students and therapists’ interest in gerontology practice.” Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics 32.2 (2014): 136-151.

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