Given its rapidly-aging population, the U.S. needs a workforce that is informed about and capable of meeting the diverse needs of older adults. Students pursing gerontology education may feel unsure of career opportunities as they enter a job market with traditionally clearly-defined disciplinary backgrounds. The goal of this study was to explore how people currently employed in an aging-related job searched for positions, and how this compared to phrasing used by employers to advertise job openings across several aging-related fields. A web-based survey was administered to employees in aging-related positions, and a search of four job-seeking websites to collect and analyze aging-related job postings was conducted. Most (63%) currently working in the field of aging reported finding their jobs through referral from a friend/colleague or through job search sites or job boards. Out of 493 relevant job postings identified, only 175 of the postings (35%), preferred or required applicants to have some type of aging-related knowledge, skills, training, or prior experience. There may be consequences to not specifically recruiting applicants with aging-related backgrounds: job seekers with qualifications in aging may look for other positions that expressly call for their specialized skills or knowledge, and quality of services and care may be different when provided by persons without such training.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology