Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Blaisure

Second Advisor

Dr. Angel Gullon‐Rivera

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet Hahn

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This qualitative study explored the perspective of young professionals on how to increase interest in choosing a career in the field of aging and how their own career path led to their current employment in the field of aging. Fifteen professionals in the field of aging, ranging in age from 23 to 34, participated in semi-­‐structured interviews. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis. Results confirmed prior research that professionals working in the field of aging come from a variety of disciplines. Participants noted attractive aspects of a career in the field of aging, including flexibility and mobility. To increase the upcoming generations’ interest in a career in the field of aging, participants suggested integrating information about aging and not-­‐so-­‐obvious careers in aging into high school, college, and university courses; doing more to tackle stigma and stereotypes associated with aging; and undertaking a “making aging cool” campaign. Results of the study cannot be generalized. Future research could investigate perceptions of satisfaction and happiness in persons working in the field of aging, include more diverse samples, and examine the effectiveness of the participants’ ideas to increase interest in choosing a career in aging.

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