Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Starting Over Has Never Been Easier

Just when I'd almost given up hope of ever being respectable, or of having a second career that didn't demand spending long hours learning something new, the University of Southern California at Davis offers me the perfect career solution that will result in both of those dreams being fulfilled. I can get a Master's in Aging Services Management and learn how to take advantage of all those seniors who are depleting Social Security and running up our national debt with their Medicare. It's a whole new field of dreams to be sown, "especially designed to prepare a knowledgeable and skilled workforce to successfully offer products, services and programs to older persons."

What does that entail exactly, I wondered. For the answer, I turned to the school's brochure and read the description of a couple of introductory courses:
Perspectives on a Changing Society: An Introduction to Aging
This course examines the bio/psycho/social model of aging as well as the implications of population aging trends for individuals and society. Students will learn about changing demographics and health disparities, understand the importance of cultural competency, and learn how multiple disciplines can inform decision-making related to delivering programs and services for older people. (Translation: You will learn how to instantly identify an old person. You will learn that their condition will end in death. You will understand that old people get sick, and that they need a lot of things while they are still alive, that you can sell them. You will learn how to tell just what they will swallow, to use a medication metaphor, in terms of goods and services promised by you.)

Marketing and Shifts in Consumer Decision Making
This course will explore the unique challenges of marketing aging services. Students will learn about branding, marketing, and consumer behavior by examining established, transitioning and emerging aging services and organizations in their efforts to capture the senior market. (Translation: Because they are often hearing impaired, cranky and forgetful, it can be quite difficult to fleece old folks out of what little money they have left. But by studying how other people have done it, you might learn how to beat the competition at their own game.)

The best part: I can take classes at home, online, and nobody has to know that I'm one of those old people myself.

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