Joyce at Purdue,
Re: your questions about audiology as a career -
I think that perhaps the uninitiated might see audiologists as technicians,
but there have been so many recent scientific advances that this is no
longer accurate. Hearing aid technology, neonatal hearing screenings, the use
of cochlear implants, and intra-operative monitoring are some of the areas in
which a mere "technician" would certainly falter.
In addition, by the year 2002 (?), we are told, audiology jobs will require
a clinical doctorate. This reflects the ever-expanding capabilities of the
audiologist - a job which requires a working knowledge of the physics of sound,
the psychological aspects of speech perception, and a fair amount of diagnostic
acumen. Not to worry - those who currently hold or are studying for a M.S.
degree will either be grandfathered in or allowed to earn the Au.D. later by
(probably) computer-based classes.
I would strongly urge you to skim an audiology text (Katz is good) or ask to
observe somewhere to get a feel for whether this might be a good area for you.
Personally, I find it challenging and thought-provoking. I am in a combined
M.S./Ph.D program at the University of Texas at Dallas and most of my classes
are at the Callier Center, an internationally-recognized clinic/research
facility for communication disorders (including SLP).
Hope this helps!