Is pharmacy a good career to go into right?

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deleted562805

I have been accepted into pharmacy school but I am having second thoughts. I do not want to to rack up a massive amount of debt and not have the means of paying it back. Any suggestions?
Have you looked into medical school or PA school. Tell them you have a change in heart. The job market is not getting better
 
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deleted562805

Pharmacy school is easy to get into as long as you sign away 200k in loans. Schools don’t care about grades, work experience. Nothing. Here is Paul Tran a 5 year hospital pharmacist telling you not to do pharmacy school

 
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PromisedNeverland

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I have been accepted into pharmacy school but I am having second thoughts. I do not want to to rack up a massive amount of debt and not have the means of paying it back. Any suggestions?

I think you know the answer in the back of your head " I do not want to to rack up a massive amount of debt and not have the means of paying it back. "
 

BC_89

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Its good your asking the questions now instead of later. Something I've noticed with many potential students is they see a couple of things:

1) You dont need a bachelors
2) Six figure salary on graduating

Its true that the competitiveness of getting in a pharmacy program has dropped. Minimum 2.5 GPAs were unheard of 10-15 years ago. Also, PCAT is being waived for many schools and new schools are constantly being built throughout every season (Hence Saturation).

Without going in to much detail, with the average debt of tuition, cost of living, student insurance & transportation, it is not ideal for many to jump to the conclusion of pharmacy (especially with no tech experience). Here's a link that may give you somewhat of a better idea:

Job Saturation - Is Pharmacy Worth It? Here's What You Need to Know

The cut-n-dry answer is if you can, look elsewhere. No one should get a degree and be scared to have 40 hour weeks without ever stepping foot in a pharmacy and having no definite means of paying loans back (with wages decreasing in many parts of the country).
 

mentos

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Pharmacy school is easy to get into as long as you sign away 200k in loans. Schools don’t care about grades, work experience. Nothing. Here is Paul Tran a 5 year hospital pharmacist telling you not to do pharmacy school


This guy's only been working for 5 years? I could have sworn he was giving career advice to pharmacists on YouTube for longer than that.
 
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camerond54

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Its good your asking the questions now instead of later. Something I've noticed with many potential students is they see a couple of things:

1) You dont need a bachelors
2) Six figure salary on graduating

Its true that the competitiveness of getting in a pharmacy program has dropped. Minimum 2.5 GPAs were unheard of 10-15 years ago. Also, PCAT is being waived for many schools and new schools are constantly being built throughout every season (Hence Saturation).

Without going in to much detail, with the average debt of tuition, cost of living, student insurance & transportation, it is not ideal for many to jump to the conclusion of pharmacy (especially with no tech experience). Here's a link that may give you somewhat of a better idea:

Job Saturation - Is Pharmacy Worth It? Here's What You Need to Know

The cut-n-dry answer is if you can, look elsewhere. No one should get a degree and be scared to have 40 hour weeks without ever stepping foot in a pharmacy and having no definite means of paying loans back (with wages decreasing in many parts of the country).
I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama) which is where I am. I feel like I would only get hired to be laid off. What do you think?
 
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BC_89

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I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama) which is where I am. I feel like I would only get hired to be laid off. What do you think?

job openings come in the form of prn / part-time. Many also include residency as a job.

Some are indeed going to get jobs yet even at that wages are dropping and/or not keeping up with inflation. It’s one of those degree paths to be really cautious about.
 
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Saiyo

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I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama)

Admissions counselors are there to support your decisions and help you plan your way there. We are just randoms online, so for all you know we could just be fearmongering to keep you out of our field. Instead, friends or family members who graduated in the last 5-10 years should be able to give you a better idea of what to expect. That video posted above scares me, and if it scares me, it should scare you.
 
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deleted562805

Admissions counselors are there to support your decisions and help you plan your way there. We are just randoms online, so for all you know we could just be fearmongering to keep you out of our field. Instead, friends or family members who graduated in the last 5-10 years should be able to give you a better idea of what to expect. That video posted above scares me, and if it scares me, it should scare you.
Best is to ask pharmacists working in high volume stores and hospitals. I would not trust academic advisers, they might be getting gifts from the side from pharmacy school recruiters. Pharmacy school is a desperate to fill seats. They will do anything to fill those seats.
That is a tactic on how Caribbean medical schools lavish academic advisors to attract naive students.
 

Marzapan

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I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama) which is where I am. I feel like I would only get hired to be laid off. What do you think?
Stop talking to admissions people and relying on their opinion on what the job market is like. Do a simple job search on any of the job sites (Linkedin, Indeed etc.) and decide for yourself.

I thought elementary schools had been teaching their students how to use ipads since several years ago... why is it that you have college grads who don't think of/know how to do a simple google search to research basic things about the profession they are trying to get into?
 
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PharmtoCS

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I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama) which is where I am. I feel like I would only get hired to be laid off. What do you think?

Admission counselors are just as credible as used car salesmen. Of course they'll try to convince you to go to pharmacy school because their salaries are depending on how many seats they can sell to students at $200k each.
 
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VA77

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If the OP has to ask the question, then they already know the answer.

And yes, if you have ever went car shopping you know the sales people will hound you and act like they are cutting you a deal and the admissions people are the same way. Don't trust them.
 
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mentos

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Honestly I wouldn't go to pharmacy school right now if it were free. The chance of getting a job in 2024 is so low that it's not even worth losing 4 years of opportunity cost. In that amount of time you can get a nursing or dental hygienist degree, pay them back and build up a nice emergency savings and maybe even have enough for a down payment for a home. Plus you'll have a good, in demand job and get to work anywhere you want.
 
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You're talking about law school? That is even more saturated than pharmacy. Pharmacy is the new law school.
Yes, but the IvyLeagues still have standards and you will get a job due to their expansive network. Anywhere else, you are SOL. Law and Business has always been dependent on the quality of the school
 
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mentos

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Yes, but the IvyLeagues still have standards and you will get a job due to their expansive network.

Not true. Ivy league does not guarantee you a job. Law school full time employment rates:


Columbia 92%
Cornell 92%
Harvard 86%

While those employment rates are high, that is still a lot of unemployed law school graduates.

They need to make a full time employment list like this for pharmacy without including residencies, fellowships, part time and prn positions.
 
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deleted562805

Not true. Ivy league does not guarantee you a job. Law school full time employment rates:


Columbia 92%
Cornell 92%
Harvard 86%

While those employment rates are high, that is still a lot of unemployed law school graduates.

They need to make a full time employment list like this for pharmacy without including residencies, fellowships, part time and prn positions.
I agree with you that nothing is guaranteed for getting a job after law school or anything for that matter, but going to any Ivy League for law school offers you the best chance (80%-90%) of getting a full time job vs going to any public university. Even the article mentions, you have strong chance of getting hired if you go to a top school, ie the Ivy Leagues and who ever is mentioned on the top 14 list, Duke etc.

Maybe, pharmacy students and former alumni need to start sueing schools so they become more transparent

Here is Harvard Employment data for 2019 grads. Only 2 are unemployed seeking a job

Over all if you go to a top school like Harvard, you are more than likely to get a job whether you are a top student, middle of the pack. The same cannot be said for pharmacy, both top( pharmacy residents and middle of the pack students are getting screwed over. Like you said before, people will pay for a top lawyer from a top school, but who cares about a pharmacist from a top school

 
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Argentium

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Not true. Ivy league does not guarantee you a job. Law school full time employment rates:


Columbia 92%
Cornell 92%
Harvard 86%

While those employment rates are high, that is still a lot of unemployed law school graduates.

They need to make a full time employment list like this for pharmacy without including residencies, fellowships, part time and prn positions.

Do you really think those are low employment rates?? Geez ...
 
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Hedgehog32

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Absolutely do not do it. I just graduated from pharmacy school in May and have zero employment prospects. I was a good student and held a hospital pharmacy intern job throughout pharmacy school, and that failed to lead to a job offer because the job market is so competitive that the hospital is requiring residency training just to qualify for entry-level staff pharmacist jobs. How would you feel about the prospect of completing an additional year of training working 60+ hours per week plus projects you have to work on during your free time just so you can qualify for jobs that won't even require you to utilize that extra training? (Also, keep in mind that even if you complete a residency, you'll still be competing against 50+ other residency-trained pharmacists who are all applying for the same job as you.)

You said that the admissions counselor told you that there are still jobs in AL, MS, and LA. Even if there are, I guarantee you that these jobs are going to be in very rural, desolate areas that you almost definitely don't want to live in (think small towns that are 3-5 hours away from the nearest city). Also, these are primarily going to be chain retail pharmacy jobs.

Have you ever worked in a retail pharmacy as a technician? If not, you need to understand that you may very well end up hating that line of work. So if you're like me and you hate both retail pharmacy AND the prospect of living in a town that is so rural and offers so little in the way of activities, amenities, and nightlife that you have literally nothing to look forward to doing when your shift at the pharmacy ends or on your days off, do you really want to pay $200k and waste 4 years of your life if you know you'll have that kind of future waiting for you at the end of it all?

There are so many other better career alternatives out there that it would be objectively absurd for you to not lend them consideration. As others have mentioned, research PA school. Whereas completing a residency as a pharmacist is now a prerequisite just to maybe qualify for an entry-level staff pharmacist job, completing a residency as a PA will qualify you for better-paying jobs in desirable specialties (I.e., more training = more ROI as a PA, but more training =/= more ROI as a pharmacist). Also check out nursing and the CRNA profession. If you're not hellbent on pursuing something in healthcare, research whether computer science/software engineering could be a good fit.

TL;DR - Any of the professions I mentioned above will give you the opportunity to land an entry-level job without having to move to the middle of nowhere or sign up to be worked like a dog for a year just to qualify for consideration as a candidate (... and you'll still probably have to move to the middle of nowhere even if you subject yourself to that misery).
 
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PSOP Student

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I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said...

Her JOB is to SCAM you. She is NOT there to help you. If you don't sign up, the school loses money, she loses money and she will be like you in the future...UNEMPLOYED,

She is NOT on your side or looking for your best interest. She works for the school, not for you. You are her meal ticket. Your loan is her lifeline. So sign up and help her keep her job so you can drown in debt!
 
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Marzapan

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Not true. Ivy league does not guarantee you a job. Law school full time employment rates:


Columbia 92%
Cornell 92%
Harvard 86%

While those employment rates are high, that is still a lot of unemployed law school graduates.

They need to make a full time employment list like this for pharmacy without including residencies, fellowships, part time and prn positions.
Unless it is Ivy League. The brand and the connections matter. Ivy League has that brand recognition. Law has always been about getting into top schools even during pre saturation
Here's the difference between being a lawyer and a pharmacist:

If you have literally any legal problem, throw enough lawyers at it and it'll go away because the smart ones will cook up ways to drag on/stall/toss out the case.

If you have any medical problem, throw enough pharmacists at it and well... you won't get very far before you're referred to a doctor. Also, nobody cares enough to want to see a pharmacist, let alone a second pharmacist.
 
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mentos

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Here's the difference between being a lawyer and a pharmacist:

If you have literally any legal problem, throw enough lawyers at it and it'll go away because the smart ones will cook up ways to drag on/stall/toss out the case.

If you have any medical problem, throw enough pharmacists at it and well... you won't get very far before you're referred to a doctor. Also, nobody cares enough to want to see a pharmacist, let alone a second pharmacist.

Not all lawyers have a "case". It's not like what you see on TV and in the movies.
 
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Marzapan

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Not all lawyers have a "case". It's not like what you see on TV and in the movies.
We're talking about ivy league grads though. Here's another difference between law and pharmacy:

Go to an ivy league law school and practice for 20+ years and you'll have both the network to consult with and experience to deal with/solve complicated problems, thereby giving you valuable assets to work with and the ability to monetize those assets. (Aka attracting/charging clients whatever you want if you are the only lawyer who has experience dealing with a particular issue).

Go to a "top" pharmacy school and practice for 20+ years and you're not anymore useful to a company than a new grad with no experience. The only advantage you have over a new grad is that you are perhaps more adept at handling people situations (but you can easily be outclassed by the extroverted types) and possess more "general drug knowledge," but that is a "skill" which cannot be monetized.
 
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deleted562805

I just spoke with my admissions counselor and she said that their are job openings for pharmacists in the tri-State area (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama) which is where I am. I feel like I would only get hired to be laid off. What do you think?
I am from Alabama. I can tell you that Alabama is saturated in the cities and suburban areas. Walgreens might hire you if you want to throw 200k loans and work/ float for $41/hr in the worst parts of Mobile, Alabama at 1,000 script or more 24 hr store. Are you ready throw 200k loans for that kind of job.

Getting a residency in any of the hospital in Alabama has become insanely competitive 300 applications for 2 or 3 spots. Remember as a student you are competing with out of state people too.

If you want health care, PA or medicine or BSN are better routes
If you do not want health care, CS is a better route
 
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Xenophylia

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"You said that the admissions counselor told you that there are still jobs in AL, MS, and LA. Even if there are, I guarantee you that these jobs are going to be in very rural, desolate areas that you almost definitely don't want to live in (think small towns that are 3-5 hours away from the nearest city). Also, these are primarily going to be chain retail pharmacy jobs."


Did she happen to mention if these are PHARMACY jobs?
 
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Momus

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Not true. Ivy league does not guarantee you a job. Law school full time employment rates:


Columbia 92%
Cornell 92%
Harvard 86%

While those employment rates are high, that is still a lot of unemployed law school graduates.

They need to make a full time employment list like this for pharmacy without including residencies, fellowships, part time and prn positions.
In law, you can literally set up paid Yelp reviews about your "firm" 1 solo practitioner with 0 employee, become an ambulance chaser and still make bank. Or, sell your letter winning speeding ticket dismissal for $100/letter. Ez money with small advertising budget to FB/Google. My roommate was one, he makes well over 150k doing it, taking low number of cases every year, just negotiating settlement money at home.

You can't do that as a pharmacist.

Law > pharmacy.
 
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Saiyo

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Absolutely do not do it. I just graduated from pharmacy school in May and have zero employment prospects. I was a good student and held a hospital pharmacy intern job throughout pharmacy school, and that failed to lead to a job offer because the job market is so competitive that the hospital is requiring residency training just to qualify for entry-level staff pharmacist jobs. How would you feel about the prospect of completing an additional year of training working 60+ hours per week plus projects you have to work on during your free time just so you can qualify for jobs that won't even require you to utilize that extra training? (Also, keep in mind that even if you complete a residency, you'll still be competing against 50+ other residency-trained pharmacists who are all applying for the same job as you.)

You said that the admissions counselor told you that there are still jobs in AL, MS, and LA. Even if there are, I guarantee you that these jobs are going to be in very rural, desolate areas that you almost definitely don't want to live in (think small towns that are 3-5 hours away from the nearest city). Also, these are primarily going to be chain retail pharmacy jobs.

Have you ever worked in a retail pharmacy as a technician? If not, you need to understand that you may very well end up hating that line of work. So if you're like me and you hate both retail pharmacy AND the prospect of living in a town that is so rural and offers so little in the way of activities, amenities, and nightlife that you have literally nothing to look forward to doing when your shift at the pharmacy ends or on your days off, do you really want to pay $200k and waste 4 years of your life if you know you'll have that kind of future waiting for you at the end of it all?

Sorry you had to find out the hard way :(
I think it takes some courage to come on this board and let everyone know that the doomsayers were right all along about the job prospects...
I think too many people are going to find out the hard way that the networking/setting your self apart/working in industry/nuclear etc plans are all bunk, and you pretty much have to get lucky or you will have a rough time.

That said, you're here now I guess, so welcome to the club, its time to apply anywhere and everywhere you can and hope for the best. Its still early in the game, so I wouldn't be panicking and finding a different profession just yet, but you really don't want to be here next march without a job. You may have to move to an undesirable location like me, but even that is better than the alternative of having no future as a pharmacist. Unless you want to roll the dice with bootcamp, this is it. (Although you could that while still applying to jobs as a hedge?)
 
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mentos

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We're talking about ivy league grads though. Here's another difference between law and pharmacy:

Go to an ivy league law school and practice for 20+ years and you'll have both the network to consult with and experience to deal with/solve complicated problems, thereby giving you valuable assets to work with and the ability to monetize those assets. (Aka attracting/charging clients whatever you want if you are the only lawyer who has experience dealing with a particular issue).

Not all ivy league lawyers work romanticized jobs that you describe. My neighbor went to Cornell and he is a real estate and estate planning attorney which is the most common type of lawyer in my area. He does typical P&S agreements for home sales, prepares wills, power of attorney, notary etc. Pretty basic and boring stuff but makes a good living. He doesn't have "cases" like you see on TV and doesn't solve complex problems like you describe. It's pretty stress free and that's how he likes it.
 

Marzapan

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Not all ivy league lawyers work romanticized jobs that you describe. My neighbor went to Cornell and he is a real estate and estate planning attorney which is the most common type of lawyer in my area. He does typical P&S agreements for home sales, prepares wills, power of attorney, notary etc. Pretty basic and boring stuff but makes a good living. He doesn't have "cases" like you see on TV and doesn't solve complex problems like you describe. It's pretty stress free and that's how he likes it.
That just goes to show that law>>>pharmacy because they are not undergoing credential wars. Lawyers can have long, viable careers with a skillset "common" to anyone else without the need to specialize like pharmacists who are doing PGY-5s in hopes that they will strike gold and land in some niche market. I doubt your friend thinks he has a target on his back due to age too.
 
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Hedgehog32

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Sorry you had to find out the hard way :(
I think it takes some courage to come on this board and let everyone know that the doomsayers were right all along about the job prospects...
I think too many people are going to find out the hard way that the networking/setting your self apart/working in industry/nuclear etc plans are all bunk, and you pretty much have to get lucky or you will have a rough time.

That said, you're here now I guess, so welcome to the club, its time to apply anywhere and everywhere you can and hope for the best. Its still early in the game, so I wouldn't be panicking and finding a different profession just yet, but you really don't want to be here next march without a job. You may have to move to an undesirable location like me, but even that is better than the alternative of having no future as a pharmacist. Unless you want to roll the dice with bootcamp, this is it. (Although you could that while still applying to jobs as a hedge?)

I agree with you that a great many future pharmacy school graduates are going to be in for a rude awakening when they finally graduate. As for me personally, while I did expect to have a difficult time finding a job, I didn't anticipate being in the scenario of not being able to find ANY (as in even one) inpatient job in any state.

Still trying to decide whether I want to take the gamble on doing a bootcamp program instead of a formal M.S. degree. I actually found out this morning that I'd been accepted to one of the online MS programs I applied to, which is the outcome I was expecting since it's just a regional state university in GA. I'm waiting to hear back from another program I applied to and may apply to one more. If I decide to attend one of the programs, classes could begin as soon as August 12th, so I've got to make some serious decisions soon.

Just out of curiosity, do you mind if I ask what kind of pharmacy setting you work in? Also, are you still a relatively new grad?
 
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Argentium

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Not all ivy league lawyers work romanticized jobs that you describe. My neighbor went to Cornell and he is a real estate and estate planning attorney which is the most common type of lawyer in my area. He does typical P&S agreements for home sales, prepares wills, power of attorney, notary etc. Pretty basic and boring stuff but makes a good living. He doesn't have "cases" like you see on TV and doesn't solve complex problems like you describe. It's pretty stress free and that's how he likes it.


Right out of school: 75% of columbia grads go into BigLaw (500+ attorneys) and 20% go into government (state/federal clerkships, etc.) so it is the vast majority. True for most other T14 schools; esp. the ivies.

Another fun fact, of the 431 grads, only 3 are unemployed and seeking employment (<1%)
 
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Saiyo

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Just out of curiosity, do you mind if I ask what kind of pharmacy setting you work in? Also, are you still a relatively new grad?

I graduated a few years ago and took an inpatient job in BFE. It was always my plan, I mean, why would I do a residency if this was an option? Even if you get a residency in your dream city you probably wouldn't be able to enjoy it, plus getting paid residency salary for how much residents work was a no go for me. Of course there were plenty of consequences to my decision, couple that with how increasingly tight the job market has become, and pharmacy has become a bad bet. I absolutely would do it again vs. taking a residency, but even moreso I wouldn't do pharmacy again.

I do know a guy that did a masters in C.S. after getting an unrelated bachelors, so it is possible if that's the route you want to take, but I would say not to rush to write off your degree and get more loans when you've barely been graduated for 2 months....
 

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I agree with you that a great many future pharmacy school graduates are going to be in for a rude awakening when they finally graduate. As for me personally, while I did expect to have a difficult time finding a job, I didn't anticipate being in the scenario of not being able to find ANY (as in even one) inpatient job in any state.

Still trying to decide whether I want to take the gamble on doing a bootcamp program instead of a formal M.S. degree. I actually found out this morning that I'd been accepted to one of the online MS programs I applied to, which is the outcome I was expecting since it's just a regional state university in GA. I'm waiting to hear back from another program I applied to and may apply to one more. If I decide to attend one of the programs, classes could begin as soon as August 12th, so I've got to make some serious decisions soon.

Just out of curiosity, do you mind if I ask what kind of pharmacy setting you work in? Also, are you still a relatively new grad?
why don't you try GATech, their program reputation is off the chart for tech masters program.
 
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