After retiring early from a career with AT&T, Corinne Jones went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science. She remembers it was a class on elder law where she got her first taste of gerontology.
People around the globe are living longer than ever, creating unprecedented demographic shifts toward an aging population. With more growth on the horizon, a USC Leonard Davis education positions you for success in a wide array of fields.
Opportunities in An Aging World
The field of gerontology offers limitless career choices now and in the future. Here’s why:
By 2040, 1 in 5 Americans will be over 65.
America has 72 million Baby Boomers, and the oldest are well into their 70s. Many have parents in their 80s, 90s, and beyond.
In 2050, about 2.1 billion people worldwide will be over 60. That’s double the number of people in this age group in 2017.
An aging population needs products and services at a greater scale than ever, creating major opportunities in the public and private sectors. Consider that:
- The U.S. Department of Labor identifies careers in aging as a high-growth area over the next decade.
- Someone turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing long-term care services and supports in their remaining years.
- Americans spend more than $163 billion each year on nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities.
- Adults ages 65 and older spend 96% of their available income on goods and services, vs. 78% for those ages 25-64. This large consumer group seeks products and services ranging from food and entertainment to healthcare and transportation.
- “Commercial businesses are unprepared to meet the needs of aging consumers.” (Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition Study) Researchers identified gaps in available products and services compared to ones that older consumers need and want.
Career Paths for a Gerontology Degree
An aging population creates a ripple effect of opportunity in every sector of the economy. Our alumni go on to pursue careers in these sectors and many more:
- Law and academia
- Science, medicine, healthcare, mental health and pharmaceuticals
- Finance, insurance and retirement planning
- Local, state and federal government
- Business, management, consulting, technology and entrepreneurship
- Advocacy, nonprofits, social services, community-based and faith-based organizations
- Marketing and branding
- Housing, urban planning and transportation
How USC Leonard Davis Prepares You to Succeed
A degree from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology opens many doors. We’ve built a world-class reputation with the nation’s largest selection of gerontology degree programs, renowned professors and a large, close-knit alumni network.
A Global Alumni Network
More than 3,000 of our alumni work at the world’s premier organizations. They serve in leadership roles in places ranging from the U.S. federal government and World Health Organization to prestigious think tanks. Many have found rewarding niches in private businesses, nonprofit programs and foundations. Whatever professional paths our graduates take, a USC Leonard Davis degree provides a distinct advantage.
Where Our Graduates Work
Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of organizations where our graduates have landed.
- AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Aging
- Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Generator Ventures
- National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Veterans Administration
- World Health Organization, Social Security Administration, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Silverado Senior Living, Front Porch Senior Living, Welltower
- Harvard University; Universities of California; University of Kansas; Syracuse University; Pennsylvania State University; Iowa University
making a global impact in health care, policy and senior living
Our alumni work at the world’s premier organizations.
A Career that Keeps You Curious
Looking for a career that keeps you on your toes? Gerontology is always evolving into new subspecialties and areas of inquiry to keep pace with our rapidly changing world. For example:
“As an attorney, I deal with aging-related issues on a daily basis. From contacts to litigation, I am constantly impressed by the applicability of my gerontology education to the matters I handle.”Kim M. Bowman Jr.M.A. Gerontology
“You can always treat pneumonia with a simple antibiotic regimen, but the important questions are how will patients afford the medication, whether they are able to take it by themselves or remember to take it at all, and how will they make it to follow up appointments. My studies in gerontology made me aware of these issues before I even started medical school.”Dr. Karlton WongDr. Wong holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Gerontology and a Master of Science in Gerontology
The MAG program at USC Leonard Davis explores gerontology through a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach. Your classes integrate research and concepts from different fields, providing connections and context as you pursue academic and career goals.Cynthia HutchinsMAG graduate and director of financial gerontology for wealth management company Merrill Lynch
“The MASM program not only solidified my career opportunities, it also expanded my horizons in terms of personal well-being, appreciation of life’s stages and understanding of older adults. I thoroughly enjoyed the many walks of life my classmates brought to the program.”Erik DoanMAASM graduate and program director of Family Adult Day Health Care in Lomita, California
“Gerontology is the new hybrid career... If you walk out your front door and look around, you will see older people everywhere. There is such a need for people educated in aging that the career opportunities are endless.”Jolene FassbinderMSG graduate and program officer for the Archstone Foundation, which provides grants for innovative projects addressing the needs of older adults
Stories and Spotlights
Educating generations of leaders in aging
Sarah Lamontagne had a busy job at a Rhode Island nonprofit that helps adults age in place, remaining in their homes and communities as they grow older. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing a master’s degree from the USC Leonard Davis School in Gerontology.
Ready to join us?
Our community of ambitious students, eminent faculty and renowned alumni is waiting for you to join us. Our advisory team is ready to answer all your questions. Let’s continue the conversation.