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Pharmacy 2016? Job prospects ? worth doing it?

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    I want to do pharmacy , got an offer and I have accepted it , what is the job prospects after graduating? any advice at all please? I have heard a lot about its not worth doing

    I wouldn't say that it's not worth doing, I just think there has been a paradigm shift over the last decade, and those considering moving into it would do well to bear in mind two things: Schools have been opening left, right, and centre, and financial cuts to the community sector are incoming. All in all, the net result is more graduates competing for less jobs.

    To be completely candid, in the past, pharmacy was a skill that was in demand, and as such, it attracted those who wanted a secure, 'reputable' career and nothing else - to sit in University for four years and coast their way into a near-guarantee of a job at the end. However, the flip side to that is it became a very lucrative course for Universities to offer, schools proliferated like crazy, the GPhC dug it's heels in about capping intake numbers, and now the job market is fast becoming oversaturated. Even before the proposed 25% cuts come to fruition.

    Do I think that means doom and gloom? No, but the days of being able to coast your way are over; by the time you graduate, the full impact of the boom of pharmacy students will have hit, and you may struggle to find a pre-registration place, much less a job when you qualify. The good news is that those who are sincerely invested in pharmacy - who are there because they love the subject and are willing to put their noses to the grindstone - will more than likely be fine. Seriously, I don't think it will be impossible to make it as a pharmacist, I just think it's going to become much harder than it used to be.

    If you want to be a pharmacist, you should study pharmacy, but be prepared to work your arse off so that you stand out as a candidate by the end - that means performing well in modules, especially the clinically-focused ones, applying to summer placements, and trying to get as much hands-on experience as possible. I honestly don't know what the job market will look like in 4-5 years, I admit that I am probably exagerrating a little here, but it is a lot of work to even graduate and I wouldn't want to risk not being able to find pre-registration training. Ideally, you should be doing everything in your power to prevent that from happening.

    And if your undecided/not sure about being a pharmacist? Well, you should still consider doing it, because it is a very interesting and worthwhile degree, one which can open many doors. Seriously, I know ex-pharmacists who have started their own businesses, converted to law, converted to medicine, are studying for PhDs, and have even started teacher training. If you decide that Pharmacy isn't for you, it really isn't the end of the world. You just need to make sure you have a solid gameplan moving forwards, and you're not suddenly caught unaware by the fact you can't find a job and need to flounder into something else.

    If you aren't interested in becoming a pharmacist though - and are just doing it because there is nothing else or 'you may as well' - then don't. Back when I applied, 4 + 1 years seemed like nothing; the economy was effectively wrecked and I figured I may as well sit it out as a student. While I certainly don't regret my choice, I didn't realize just how much work it was - it is a huge investment, and if your ultimate gameplan is to move into something else, I promise you there are probably better, more efficient ways of doing it. Pharmacy just isn't the viable 'back-up' career that it used to be, and as proud as I am of my degree, you have to understand that it doesn't always 'translate' well to employers outside of pharmacy. Which sucks, but what can ya do.

    [also, read this thread if you haven't already: It gives a fairly good overview of some of the problems facing pharmacy atm]
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