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HELP! IS IT WORTH IT??

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Confused_Often, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Confused_Often

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    So I'm posting for my gf because she has to put a deposit down for a school she has been accepted to soon, but we're worried if doing pharmacy is worth it given the notable risks. I also noticed that the stats required to get in were extremely low; for instance, the school's PCAT for matriculants was below a 50% for her school (WTF)! It's frightening to take out a $100k+ loan and not get a job afterwards. Is the job outlook as bad as everyone makes it on SDN and reddit? Should she give up her acceptance and try another field such as PA, or other 2 year programs?
     
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  3. BigBoss

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    Save the deposit money and try another field. PA job market is much better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Bareitashvilli

    Bareitashvilli Applicant of 2018 Cycle

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    Boss! Train with me!!!
     
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  5. Confused_Often

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    So it is that bad, huh? Is this from experience? She has a few friends that are pharm graduates and said it's not that bad, but then we have people online saying it's horrible
     
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  6. Melazine

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    Were they her close friends? I would probably casually tell a regular friend that finding a job as a pharmacist is "not bad". I will never recommend it to a close friend. It's really up to her though, otherwise she might blame you for controlling her life.
     
  7. BC_89

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    Has she worked (not shadowed) in a pharmacy as a tech before?

    Saturation does exist. I’ll give you an example: I’m a pharm tech for the army and currently a supervisor on an outlying clinic. A majority of the younger pharmacy grads try to compete for a slot in the active duty service to help alleviate some of there student debt as well as build some leadership experience and connections for job opportunities when they leave. Problem is, a lot extend their obligation due to no job prospects and those that do get out still find themselves with minimal hours or let go further down the line.

    Point is, if she has no experience in the setting and no contingency plan to offset them loans, absolutely no way with any second thought would I recommend her to enter the field. Your correct with the low stats admissions. The income to debt ratio coupled with saturation just doesn’t add up.
     
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  8. Confused_Often

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    Ehhh, sorority sister from other schools, so not that close, but I understand what you mean. And yeah, I'm definitely going to let her decide for herself, but I want her to know all the risks involved and what she is getting herself into in through choosing this path so she's not shocked with the outcome when it's time to start filling out job applications...
     
  9. Confused_Often

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    She has not worked as a pharmacy tech before. I believe she has shadowed in the clinical setting during high school and that's what lead her to pursue this as a career and from what I know that's the only experience she has with pharmacy. It seems that retail is the best bet in getting a job, no?

    And I agree, $100k+ loan is no laughing matter and I'm letting her know that it's not worth it given the many forewarning on this site and many others. I've tried to subtly persuade her into giving PA a chance, but she recently shadowed a PA that works at an ED and told me she couldn't handle the amount of blood she saw lol. I told her that PAs can specialize in other areas, but she seems against it
     
  10. BC_89

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    I want to give you an example of what a majority of SDNers go through in ANY profession

    WARNING LONG POST

    Sit down, add up the COL with tuition / fees / food and all other expenses (health insurance / bills / entertainment etc etc). Come up with total loan debt as close as possible.

    Assuming retail (majority of jobs) take a bare min six figure salary and take out taxes on it (~33%). Let’s be generous and assume salary is average and not dropping from saturation (which it is) : 120k - 33% = $80,400 take home yearly. Put 15% more in a retirement fund (mutual / Roth / 401k) and your take home is $57,600 (half your salary). Health insurance is a must and let’s do it for a couple with no kids ~ $800 monthly : $57,600 - $800(12) = $48,000. Mortgage and utilities? If you rent it’s higher but again, let’s be generous and say median home in Midwest with 30 yr fix + pmi + “Disaster” insurance + utilities ~ $1000 monthly (realistically a lot more than this but let’s say corn-starch Nebraska): 48,000 - 1000(12) = $36,000. I haven’t mentioned food, car payment, miscellaneous bills or 6 months worth of emergency savings. Now student loans....

    Avg debt (being nice here) 150k at 3.3% interest. Your call...wanna pay $1500 a month or $3,000? How long you wanna be in debt? 36,000 - 1500(12) = $18,000. Remember that car payment? Food? Phone bill / something-more-than-cable / and that emergency savings??? Let’s say your extra frugal and manage to have $700 monthly of free money for entertainment (for every coffee or muffin you buy on your leisure deduct it from this $700).

    Saturation: your loans are not bankruptable and 18 months in your job your hours get cut from 40 to 32 hours a week. Difference in yearly take home? ~ $24,000. With current “to-cheap-unrealistic-budget” you are $6k over your budget....what you do? Cut your health insurance ? Retirement savings? Emergency savings (if it exists)? Or negotiate your student loans for smaller pay and overall higher compounded interest over your life? What if you become a floater? Prn job? Now picture this right after school only less salary and higher debt and “life emergencies” that hit you (car breaks down / get sick / have kids).

    Opportunity cost I didn’t even mention!

    My point: Be...prepared...a job is more enjoyable when your not yoked with a terrible income to debt ratio and retire a millionaire. Saturation + high debt = no guaranteed hours nor desired location. Think of the things I didn’t factor like vacation time or hobbies...this isn’t meant to scare you, but to understand budgeting and contingency plans. If her passion is beyond these risks then she’ll love doing this career choice...especially if loans don’t exist....
     
  11. stoichiometrist

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    I would also look at non-healthcare fields, i.e. computer programming, finance, accounting, engineering, etc. These fields pay very well, offer better job prospects than pharmacy, and require much less in loans and time in schooling compared to most of the health professions.

    The standards of acceptance into pharmacy schools are low for a reason.
     
  12. RNtoMD87

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    Every field is bad. Stay home, watch tv, collect welfare.
     
  13. CaNvWa farm

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    Computer engineering is not bad. No huge student loan/debt. But it's much harder to study and work than health care field.
     
  14. RNtoMD87

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    I don't think medical is bad. Sure beats getting shot at in 145 degree heat for 30,000 a year. I hate hearing ppl bitch and whine.
     
  15. CaNvWa farm

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    You have no clue about pharmacy now
     
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  17. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt

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    There are so many different facets to consider when picking a job. Currently, there are no 6 figure jobs that are in high demand. Yes, MD's/DO's still are, but that is a difficult field to get in to. Many of the pre-pharmacy posters here do not have the grades to get into MD/DO school.

    Computer engineering requires a completely different skill set than pharmacy. As does accounting, and the other jobs people offer as "alternatives" to pharmacy. People need first to know where their skill set lies, then look at suitable jobs for that skill set. Picking a career because of money, irregardless of one's skill set, is almost guarenteed to backfire.

    Computer engineering also has the majority of jobs clustered in certain geographical areas. Many times people pick a healthcare job, such as pharmacy, because they want to be able to work "anywhere." If one does not want to live in the areas where computer engineering jobs are, then that is a very bad major. And this happens more than you probably think it does, I have worked with several pharmacy technicians who had a BA or BS in a field which necessitated them moving to certain areas to get a job in that field. They couldn't, or didn't want to move, so they take an entry level job as a pharmacy technician to work on paying off their huge college loans.

    There is a reason why so many college majors are not working in the field their degree is for, and why so many college students change majors before graduating. It's because they picked a field because it has high pay, or because they "liked" the classes. College students need to be picking a degree/career field based on 1) their own individual skill set and 2) lifestyle (money, where they plan to live after graduating, hours they want to work, total number of hours/week they want to work, chance for upward mobility and promotions after considering the lifestyle changes involved with those, etc.)
     
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  18. RNtoMD87

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    I still don't think it can be worse than a combat deployment
     
  19. CaNvWa farm

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    Sure, there is always something worse than unemployment with huge debt.
     
  20. Apothecary Aquinas

    Apothecary Aquinas Infectious Disease

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    And someone who's starving in Sub-Saharan Africa with a chronic parasitic infection would probably feel that getting shot at in 145 degree heat for $30k a year isn't that bad. There are always people that are in or have been in worse situations than you.

    Of course the current state of pharmacy isn't necessarily "as bad" as being shot at. That doesn't mean it's an issue people can't justifiably "bitch and whine" about. I'm sure you've done plenty of "bitching and whining" about things that are relatively non-circumstantial in comparison to many other things going on in the world. No need to gatekeep the right to complain. It's all relative.
     
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  21. RNtoMD87

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    I really haven't complained about much of anything since I got out of the Army. Civilian life is really awesome. 2 years of being a nurse, and the worst day would've been just slightly bad in the military. That's the biggest blessing the army has given me. The realization that life in America is EASY.

    And I agree about sub Saharan Africa. Hell the Iraqi's had it much worse than us.
     
    #19 RNtoMD87, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  22. redfish955

    redfish955 Probationary Status

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    There is a shortage of jobs in desirable locations. As long as your willing to move off to a small City and raise a family while basically living like a king you will be fine. Pay off your debt as fast as possible. Even with 40k take home you will be better than most. Pharmacy is one of the best careers to retire at 58.
     
  23. BC_89

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    You don’t know what your saying with no experience. It would behoove you not to give advice on forums toward people looking for an optimistical hand-out.
     
  24. BlackDiamond277

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    I agree. Coming from a rural area, there is still a shortage of pharmacists (and sign-on bonuses) still available. Obviously this is not the case for most places and some people may not be willing to move for a job, but it's out there for those who are willing to do it.
     
  25. RNtoMD87

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    I'm the opposite. I own a 300 acre farm in the country but had to move to the city for a nursing job. I hope somehow with my MD ill be able to move back out there.
     
  26. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha

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    It's worth mentioning that for the OP, one cannot just analyze whether the market is "worth it" now, but must project whether it will be worth it 4-5 years from now.
     
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  27. statepharmagent

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    If one has to wonder whether it is worth it now, think about 5 years later. Answer is NO, unless it's between this and bagging groceries.
     
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  28. gwarm01

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    CQC?!

    On topic, this is a delicate situation. Search the forum for more information, but things aren't looking great for pharmacists. It isn't some far flung what if scenario, these terrible things are happening right now.
     
  29. stoichiometrist

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    Even with you do manage to land a job, you will likely graduate with $250-300k in loans to get paid $80k/year with the way tuition and salaries are heading.
     
  30. gwarm01

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    ..if you're lucky. The writing has been on the wall for years and it is finally happening. Where will it be in 4 years? 10 years? I'm an established pharmacist working in a specialty area and I'm worried. I'm still living in the house I bought when I was 22 (cheap COL state) and I'm afraid to buy a new house because I don't know what will happen in the future.
     
  31. RNtoMD87

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    You only make 80,000 a year as a PHARMACIST? What a jip. I made 109,000 my first year with a two year education! I actually had considered pharmacy.
     
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  32. stoichiometrist

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    We haven't quite hit $80k/year but we are sure heading in that direction.

    If you've done your financial homework and are still willing to take out $300k in loans to work for $80k/year in BFE Alaska then I will take your word that you are passionate about the profession.
     
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