Hybrid Masters in Gerontology Degrees & Programs

Hybrid Masters in Gerontology Degrees & Programs

With a steadily aging population all over the world, the subject of gerontology has become more and more popular and necessary in academics. Gerontology is the study of aging and its various sociological, psychological, and physiological effects on society. Many hybrid masters in gerontology programs are related in some way to public service studies and focus on developing better care for the aging.

Hybrid Gerontology Masters Program Information

Pursuing a hybrid masters degree in gerontology is one option that graduate students may have at different universities. A hybrid program essentially combines online work and campus work. Instead of taking all classes on campus or all classes online, a student may take some classes online and go to campus for courses that might benefit better from individual attention from a professor.

Potential Coursework in a Hybrid Masters in Gerontology Program

Many students may be surprised to find so many different academic areas represented in gerontology courses[i]. In addition to introductory classes, core courses may cover advanced studies in health, social and public policy, services and programs, physiology and psychology, and more. Many programs also allow for elective courses, which may cover a wide range of different topics, but also allow for more focused study in specific areas related to gerontology. For programs where a thesis or project may be required, some of the core courses and elective courses might cover research methods and thesis or project work.

With a hybrid masters in gerontology program, students may take some of the courses online and some on the campus. This may allow for a certain amount of flexibility and might be a viable option for people who are already situated within a career, but looking to enhance their career options by receiving a higher education. Certain types of coursework may better benefit from physical on-campus attendance, such as classes that require labs or thesis hours which might benefit from the help of a professor.

Hybrid Masters in Gerontology Program Concentration Options

While many students may look upon the subject matter of gerontology as a concentration in its own right, this area of study may have room for further concentration[ii] depending on the university offering the program. Choosing to concentrate on a very specific aspect of gerontology may enhance potential career opportunities in particular fields. Students may wish to put more of a focus on the psychological, sociological, or biological aspects of gerontology in order to secure a very specific position within a very specific career field.

Important Skills and Qualities for Gerontology Professionals

Depending upon the type of career that a graduate hopes to pursue, there are many different skills and qualities that a professional in a gerontology field may require, these might include[iii]:

  • Data Interpretation and Analysis – The ability to read and understand data is important, particularly in career fields that may thrive on running tests and passing along important health-related information to patients. Analysis and interpretation of data may also come in useful during a thesis or project in which research might be conducted and analyzed.
  • Critical Thinking – Thinking over complex issues is important in matters of health and public policy. Graduates who might plan on pursuing a career related to gerontology should be able to think critically on issues where elderly concerns might need to be addressed.
  • Problem Solving – In addition to thinking through complex situations and policies, graduates should be able to come up with solutions to not-so-easily-solved problems. The ability to collaborate with other professionals while coming up with a solution is also an invaluable skill these professionals should have.
  • Communication – Clear communication is necessary with all age groups. In fields related to emotional, mental, and physical health as well as public policy, being able to communicate thoughts and instructions is essential, especially if an individual wishes to effect change successfully.
  • Organization – It is also important to be well organized and have strong attention to detail. This should help students throughout their graduate studies, particularly when it comes time to put together a project or thesis research. Doctors, nurses, social workers, and public policy makers should also have strong attention to detail to remain effective in their careers.

Although important, this list of skills is hardly all-inclusive. There are a number of additional skills that can benefit students earning hybrid gerontology master’s degrees. For example, students should have some desire to work with aging populations, which means they should have a lot of patience and excellent listening skills. Such abilities could help these graduates be more effective in their career of choice.

There are many reasons to earn a hybrid masters in gerontology degree. The hybrid option may be more convenient for some types of students, especially those who may be working full time and require a certain amount of flexibility with their coursework. The aging population is rising, and as such, career fields related to the care of the elderly are likely to become more and more in demand. Earning a degree in gerontology, whether it’s used on its own or in conjunction with other degrees in healthcare, social work or public policy, may enhance career opportunities for students all over the world.

Sources: [i] nursing.utah.edu/programs/masters-science-gerontology/ | [ii] capella.edu/online-degrees/masters-gerontology/courses | [iii] ipfw.edu/offices/career/students/whatmajors/gerontology-skills-and-related-careers.html

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