It is not looking good. Pre reg places are getting hard to get too as there are too many applicants. The pharmacy board/society surely should have seen this coming but they don't even have the power to cap student numbers like medicine or dentistry, that is shocking for a profession like pharmacy.
4 years of hard work and then no job - that looks likely now for many pharmacy students. Whether you get a top pharmacy degree or you coast through or even if you have experience it will make no difference - jobs are decreasing in pharmacy and there are too many people fighting for one pharmacy job both in community and hospital.
Last edited by college80; 12-06-2012 at 08:50.
I have been a pharmacist for almost a year now and i can tell you something for definite:
COMMUNITY PHARMACIES DO NOT CARE WHERE YOU STUDIED, WHAT YOUR DEGREE CLASSIFICATION IS, WHAT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES YOU HAVE DONE AND WHAT EXPERIENCE YOU'VE GOT. THEY WILL HIRE THE PHARMACISTS WHO ARE WILLING TO WORK FOR A LOW SALARY (PEANUTS)!!! . Before you start having a go at me, i have heard this from a pharmacy manager and an area manager. Those of you who think other wise are, Im sorry to say this, naive. The salaries are dropping, the locum rates are dropping, locum work is drying up and in some parts it is virtually none existent. Pharmacy is dead for the following reasons:
(Original post by TigerSwift)
Pharmacists will always be needed. The clinical expertise and medicines knowledge of a pharmacist is vital for safe and effective healthcare.
You may notice that the pharmacists that complain about a bleak future are the ones who are doing nothing about it. They're the ones treating it simply as a job, and not as a professional career. The fact that less than 20% of pharmacists voted in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society elections this year speaks volumes. Pharmacy as a profession is full of people who complain, but are too apathetic to do anything about it. If people want to see change then they have to be willing to get involved and make the changes, not sit back and whine about it.
And yes, the job market will become more competitive. But it's my strong belief that those who get involved in the profession and do more during the degree won't have a problem. Again, it is those who just treat it as a normal degree who will struggle.
Unfortunately a number of factors have lead to this position. Because of the nature of pharmacy employment (75% of it being non-NHS) and education the department of health hasn't been able to cap the number of pharmacy students. Also, the General Pharmaceutical Council (Pharmacy regulator) has no power within the Law to be able to cap student numbers. Because of the way pharmacy degrees are funded and function they are exempt from caps on students attaining high A-level grades, which has become increasingly common over the past few years. The management of universities (not the schools of pharmacy) are the ones forcing larger cohorts through to increase revenue. Couple this with the new schools opening we're seeing an explosion of student numbers.
However, work is afoot to develop a system where the numbers of pharmacy students are managed to ensure students do not risk going without a training place.
I think the effort someone puts into the degree will make a difference. Whilst many employers do not care where you studied or whether you get a 1st or 2:1, your involvement in the degree and extra-curricular work will really have an affect in the future.
1. increased number of pharmacy schools = increased number of pharmacists = low salaries and shortage of jobs (more pharmacy graduates will be leaving uni with increased debts and will therefore work for peanuts, simply because there will be a shortage of jobs, and hence will have no choice. The community pharmacy chains are salivating at this prospect because they will be getting cheap labour (sorry i meant fresh faced, enthusiastic young pharmacists) who will work under atrocious conditions (sorry i meant exciting conditions) and be worked into the round (sorry i meant help their companies offer excellent customer and pharmaceutical services)
2. continous influx of EU pharmacists who will be more complaint than UK pharmacists (because apparently they have no problems with being treated like crap, because they went through it under the old communist regimes) and work for lower wages
3. a weak and pathetic governing body
I AM 1000% SURE THAT THINGS NEVER EVER IMPROVE BECAUSE THE DAMAGE DONE IS TOO SEVERE TO FIX. SO PLEASE PHARMACY STUDENTS AND POTENTIAL PHARMACY STUDENTS, FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR HEALTH, POCKET AND DIGNITY, STAY AWAY FROM PHARMACY OR GET OUT OF IT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!! DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES THE UNIS AND TUTORS TELL YOU!! THE MORE PHARMACY STUDENTS THEY HAVE AND THE MORE SCHOOLS OF PHARMACY THERE ARE, THE MORE SECURE THEIR JOBS ARE. THEY ARE SIMPLY USING YOU AND ONCE YOU FINISH THE DEGREE YOU ARE NO LONGER THEIR PROBLEM!!!
Last edited by grimreefer; 22-06-2012 at 12:14.