Staying with Pharmacy or start working with bachelor's degree

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Greggy Weggy

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My parents had a conversation with me telling me that I should pursue going to work right after college instead of applying to pharmacy school. This made me consider the "what if" option.

For example, my bachelors is Biomolecular Science with a science and chemistry minor, currently holding a 3.67 GPA. I should graduate in the spring of 2012 (if we are still alive)

Now for the "what if" options..

Bachelors Route:
If I luckily started working after I graduate, with an average salary of about $40,000 until I hit 30 years old I would have made about $280,000 before taxes and other payments of course. This also does not include any raises. I will have NO debt from undergraduate school

Pros of Bachelors Route:

- have more money while I'm younger
- easier to start a family/get married because of less schooling
- no debt
Cons of Bachelors Route
- not as much money overall
- job opportunities questionable


Pharmacy Route:

If I went to pharmacy school for 4 years, I will graduate at approximately 27 years old. If I luckily find a job and work at average salary of $100,000 until I'm 30 years old, then I will have made about $300,000.I will have about $100,000 in debt, but I made almost the same amount of money in approximately half the time.

Pros of Pharmacy Route:
- Great money overall
- Good job opportunities
- more interesting
Cons of Pharmacy Route:
- Debt
- Harder to have a family/married because of more schooling
- only 1 school available in state


For the students pursuing a bachelors before pharmacy school, have you ever thought about this? What are your personal opinions about this(any added pros/cons)

Cheers!

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Have you worked / volunteered in a pharmacy yet? Getting some or more experience might help you make your decision, you know? Check out your UG's pre-pharmacy club and see if you can make some connections, then talk to pharmacists and work around them for a while in various settings. Maybe you can modify your Pros/Cons list if you either totally love, or totally hate, pharmacy.

A lot of your OP has value judgment-type things, for example, family. I hate children and my wife and I both agreed that kids are never happening. For this reason, that Con is completely a non-starter for me and I naturally bring that into my opinion. Conversely, someone who really wants a family will, of course, have that affect them. So beware of that. I intentionally avoided addressing them for that reason.

First order of business is to get intel. You can't make educated decisions with guesswork.
 
I'm nearly done with my B.S. in Biochemistry, and the appeal of landing a job right out of school and earning a decent paycheck (at least compared to what I make now) is appealing in the dollars and cents aspect.

But if anything, my experience as a tech has show me how much I enjoy Pharmacy, and how much I want to be the one running the show as a Pharmacist. The extra commitment of money and time isn't ideal, but if you truly love something and learn to do it well, it will pay itself off.

If you haven't already, get some exposure to the field of Pharmacy and see if it's worth the commitment.
 
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Working within your framework, these are more realistic pros/cons.


Pros of Bachelors Route:
- have more money while I'm younger
- easier to start a family/get married because of less schooling
- no debt
Cons of Bachelors Route
- not as much money overall
- job opportunities questionable
- harder to maintain a family/marriage because of going back to school
- out of the academic loop

Pros of Pharmacy Route:
- Great money overall
- average job opportunities
- academic momentum
Cons of Pharmacy Route:
- Debt
- Harder to start a family/married because of more schooling
- only 1 school available in state

It's essentially a toss up coming down to when you wanna go back to school.
 
What you should do is just go 2 years of undergrad, finish your pre-pharmacy classes and then go straight to pharmacy school. That way you get to graduate early (young), be able to start a family AND you get to make 100K+ a year.

Finishing off your bachelors degree is a waste of time AND money. I wish I knew that back when I was 18 years old. good luck! :)
 
The question is...do you think you'll eventually go back to school??

From my experience, a bachelor's in biology will not get you very far in terms of salary and career advancement (this is under the assumption that your job will be science/bio related).

Going back to school later when you're in your late 20s or early 30s will be much more difficult then your early 20s. You'll just have a lot more on your plate then...like family etc.

Also, keep in mind that raising a family on $40k a year is NOT going to be as easy as $100k a year (even with student loans)....
 
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I worked with a Bachelors for 2 years before going to school. I made like 15-16/hour, but I lived with my parents and saved just about everything I made. The money I saved and the experience I got from working have really, really helped me. I wouldn't do it any differently.

Do what you want, but there's no shame in working for a few years and then applying to pharmacy school.
 
I agree with SHC1984 you don't need bachelor's degree to get in pharmacy school.

To be honest, Biomolecular science really isn't a good major, job-wise. Unless bench work is what you like, don't waste your time in this area. I know this from my experience in Biotech and pharma industry. Maybe B.S. in biomolecular science + MBA is a good track if you are a bussiness kind of person.

I am not saying pharmacy school is your best option. Biomolecular science is not very promising, that's all I know. Years ago, we were told the 21st centry was the biotechnology's era. Many smart students went for it. Turned out biotechnology has not advanced much since then, scientists are still waiting for break-throughs. More than that, many ethical questions and safety concerns are also waiting for answers. At the mean time, to the general public, biotechnology becomes a cliche, people are not buying it anymore.

Don't add marriage/family/kids to the equation yet, because that's not something you can predict before you meet the person you want to marry (and who also wants to marry you).



My parents had a conversation with me telling me that I should pursue going to work right after college instead of applying to pharmacy school. This made me consider the "what if" option.

For example, my bachelors is Biomolecular Science with a science and chemistry minor, currently holding a 3.67 GPA. I should graduate in the spring of 2012 (if we are still alive)

Now for the "what if" options..

Bachelors Route:
If I luckily started working after I graduate, with an average salary of about $40,000 until I hit 30 years old I would have made about $280,000 before taxes and other payments of course. This also does not include any raises. I will have NO debt from undergraduate school

Pros of Bachelors Route:

- have more money while I'm younger
- easier to start a family/get married because of less schooling
- no debt
Cons of Bachelors Route
- not as much money overall
- job opportunities questionable


Pharmacy Route:

If I went to pharmacy school for 4 years, I will graduate at approximately 27 years old. If I luckily find a job and work at average salary of $100,000 until I'm 30 years old, then I will have made about $300,000.I will have about $100,000 in debt, but I made almost the same amount of money in approximately half the time.

Pros of Pharmacy Route:
- Great money overall
- Good job opportunities
- more interesting
Cons of Pharmacy Route:
- Debt
- Harder to have a family/married because of more schooling
- only 1 school available in state


For the students pursuing a bachelors before pharmacy school, have you ever thought about this? What are your personal opinions about this(any added pros/cons)

Cheers!
 
Keep in mind that by having more money, sooner, you can invest that money in a Roth IRA or the stock market. The best time to make money with stocks is during a recession. Or hey, maybe you could buy a house! You'll make, at your age and with your degree, around 17% to 35% more with a Pharm. D. over your life time (taking into account taxes and all that) - the 35% being if you're bringing down 120K (our profession's salary cap, really) and you're probably a pharmacy manager - that means bringing your work home with you. However, if you make some money in the stock market or buy a house, well, you can close the gap. I think the best bet is getting some pharmacy experience and seeing how much you like it. Having done the math, I've come to the conclusion that pharmacy is something to do only if you think getting your Pharm.D. will make you happier. You only really "make bank" if you go the community college (saving on tuition) route and do it in 6 years, which is becoming harder and harder to do.
 
Keep in mind that by having more money, sooner, you can invest that money in a Roth IRA or the stock market. The best time to make money with stocks is during a recession. Or hey, maybe you could buy a house! You'll make, at your age and with your degree, around 17% to 35% more with a Pharm. D. over your life time (taking into account taxes and all that) - the 35% being if you're bringing down 120K (our profession's salary cap, really) and you're probably a pharmacy manager - that means bringing your work home with you. However, if you make some money in the stock market or buy a house, well, you can close the gap. I think the best bet is getting some pharmacy experience and seeing how much you like it. Having done the math, I've come to the conclusion that pharmacy is something to do only if you think getting your Pharm.D. will make you happier. You only really "make bank" if you go the community college (saving on tuition) route and do it in 6 years, which is becoming harder and harder to do.

Who ARE you??? :confused: What's your other account name? You seem to only come out when the topics of cost of pharm school/oversupply of pharmacists/future earning power are brought up ...
 
A lot of your OP has value judgment-type things, for example, family. I hate children and my wife and I both agreed that kids are never happening.

lol... for some reason i just read " I hate my children and my wife" during my first read-through. But then i re-read and saw there was more to that sentence.
 
Who ARE you??? :confused: What's your other account name? You seem to only come out when the topics of cost of pharm school/oversupply of pharmacists/future earning power are brought up ...

I'm a unique snow flake. Seriously though, I love analyzing all manner of financial things and really, despite all the hype, pharmacy is kind of a dud in a financial sense. When you see your friends make at least 10K in a year on the stock market (probably more) with their earnings while you're doing pre-requisites or pharmacy school, it does make you question the opportunity cost of pharmacy school - not to mention the 4 years of your life and the (in many cases) 100K tuition price tag. But seriously, what's the worst I do? Scare off somebody who's looking to make an easy buck?

I'm also a big fan of re-evaluating our society's prioritization on education - education is important and good in general, but it can also be a stupid investment. We assume a higher degree is a good investment, but in some cases, a person with a high school education will (if you include retirement funds) have made significantly more money than someone with an English degree. The English major might have a better quality of life in the short term, but the person with the high school degree will have much more for their retirement. Or, if you're 32 (or older) and have been working with a B.S. in Biology - it only makes sense to go to pharmacy school if you're doing it for the love of the profession because you WILL NOT be making any more money. If you're old enough, you're going to be losing money, since an experienced individual with a B.S. is going to see much smaller increase in their salary and is going to be sacrificing a greater amount by spending their time at school rather than working.

Besides, what's it to you? I'm not saying pharmacy is a dumb choice for the OP, I'm just saying do it if you love it, not for the money.

Oh, I missed the part where you ask for my other account name, and the answer is I don't have one. I am not Passion4Sci or RxLea or some other notable Pre-Pharmacy Forum personality, so rest easy on that account.
 
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I'm a unique snow flake. Seriously though, I love analyzing all manner of financial things and really, despite all the hype, pharmacy is kind of a dud in a financial sense. When you see your friends make at least 10K in a year on the stock market (probably more) with their earnings while you're doing pre-requisites or pharmacy school, it does make you question the opportunity cost of pharmacy school - not to mention the 4 years of your life and the (in many cases) 100K tuition price tag. But seriously, what's the worst I do? Scare off somebody who's looking to make an easy buck?

I'm also a big fan of re-evaluating our society's prioritization on education - education is important and good in general, but it can also be a stupid investment. We assume a higher degree is a good investment, but in some cases, a person with a high school education will (if you include retirement funds) have made significantly more money than someone with an English degree. The English major might have a better quality of life in the short term, but the person with the high school degree will have much more for their retirement. Or, if you're 32 (or older) and have been working with a B.S. in Biology - it only makes sense to go to pharmacy school if you're doing it for the love of the profession because you WILL NOT be making any more money. If you're old enough, you're going to be losing money, since an experienced individual with a B.S. is going to see much smaller increase in their salary and is going to be sacrificing a greater amount by spending their time at school rather than working.

Besides, what's it to you? I'm not saying pharmacy is a dumb choice for the OP, I'm just saying do it if you love it, not for the money.

Oh, I missed the part where you ask for my other account name, and the answer is I don't have one. I am not Passion4Sci or RxLea or some other notable Pre-Pharmacy Forum personality, so rest easy on that account.

I totally agree with you. However, if you are very young (17 or 18) and want to do pharmacy for the money it's still profitable. You can do the 2 years of CC pre-pharm course work and then go to a public pharmacy school.

However if you are old (30+ is very old), then it would be very stupid to go back to pharmacy school as you will not be making more money. That I agree with completely. If you are old enough (35+ would be beyond old) then you would be LOSING money if you go back to pharmacy school. I have a woman in my class who is 46 and a man who is 41 and plenty of other older people in my class. I think they are beyond crazy for going back to school. It's financial sucide! I mean if you have a lot of money to waste then fine with me, but if you are doing this FOR THE MONEY then you are crazy.
 
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I totally agree with you. However, if you are very young (17 or 18) and want to do pharmacy for the money it's still profitable. You can do the 2 years of CC pre-pharm course work and then go to a public pharmacy school.

I agree with all of your post - in fact, at the end of my first post, I note that this is the way to be profitable with pharmacy.
 
What you should do is just go 2 years of undergrad, finish your pre-pharmacy classes and then go straight to pharmacy school. That way you get to graduate early (young), be able to start a family AND you get to make 100K+ a year.

Finishing off your bachelors degree is a waste of time AND money. I wish I knew that back when I was 18 years old. good luck! :)

After this fall semester I will have 86 credits out of 122, and I would still need to take a few prerequisites,(OrgoII, econ, A&P, biology, Micro) So by the time I take the prerequisites I will be nearly done with a bachelors, and would be foolish not to complete it. Plus I go to a state university and its very cheap.


And about the Pharm experience, I am not sure I will have any due to Ill be doing alot of research, according to the proffessors. I also do not want to work as a pharm tech because I study ALOT, and I want the best marks possible, and too understand a vast majority of the material.

Well if I have no pharmacy experience then how do I know that pharmacy is right for me?

Well I am so fascinated with all the drugs that treat a vast number of illnesses. I myself went through a bad infection from a sports related injury and was prescribed many antibiotics, but none worked. This made me interested because I wanted to know why they did not work, or was there a better option in the choice of prescription. I hope the lack of experience does not affect my chance of getting in though.
 
Sometimes I wish I had finished my bachelor's degree. And no SHC, I don't care what you have to say about it.
 
After this fall semester I will have 86 credits out of 122, and I would still need to take a few prerequisites,(OrgoII, econ, A&P, biology, Micro) So by the time I take the prerequisites I will be nearly done with a bachelors, and would be foolish not to complete it. Plus I go to a state university and its very cheap.


And about the Pharm experience, I am not sure I will have any due to Ill be doing alot of research, according to the proffessors. I also do not want to work as a pharm tech because I study ALOT, and I want the best marks possible, and too understand a vast majority of the material.

Well if I have no pharmacy experience then how do I know that pharmacy is right for me?

Well I am so fascinated with all the drugs that treat a vast number of illnesses. I myself went through a bad infection from a sports related injury and was prescribed many antibiotics, but none worked. This made me interested because I wanted to know why they did not work, or was there a better option in the choice of prescription. I hope the lack of experience does not affect my chance of getting in though.

I see, I thought you just started college. If you are close to a bachelors then go ahead and finish it.

Many people get into pharmacy school without any pharmacy experience. I was only a tech for a few months before I got into pharmacy school. Experience is not required, plenty of people don't have it. Many of my classmates don't have it.

However, if you really want the experience you can always ask to shadow a pharmacy. Just shadow for 5 hours a week and see what they do there. If you like it then apply to pharmacy school! Good luck! :)
 
Sometimes I wish I had finished my bachelor's degree. And no SHC, I don't care what you have to say about it.

Bachelor's degree (especially in the sciences) are completely USELESS. You can't do anything with them period. Doing a 2+4 year route to pharmacy is the most time efficent and money efficent way to do it. However, if for some reason a student is from a super rich family and have all the money and time in the world, then I would say,"hell, why not?" I have a friend that had a very rich dad and she finished her DDS degree and then later on decided she wanted to be a lawyer so she went to law school after dental school. Since her dad is paying for everything, then I see no lost in that. :laugh: (but personally, if I had a dad that rich, I would just take all his money and buy a few beach houses and live happily ever after screw pharmacy, dental and all other fields!)
 
Bachelor's degree (especially in the sciences) are completely USELESS. You can't do anything with them period. Doing a 2+4 year route to pharmacy is the most time efficent and money efficent way to do it. However, if for some reason a student is from a super rich family and have all the money and time in the world, then I would say,"hell, why not?" I have a friend that had a very rich dad and she finished her DDS degree and then later on decided she wanted to be a lawyer so she went to law school after dental school. Since her dad is paying for everything, then I see no lost in that. :laugh: (but personally, if I had a dad that rich, I would just take all his money and buy a few beach houses and live happily ever after screw pharmacy, dental and all other fields!)

So did I waste my time going to a private school for undergrad? Is anyone who is not going to a cheap school wasting their time and money?
 
So did I waste my time going to a private school for undergrad? Is anyone who is not going to a cheap school wasting their time and money?

That would depend on sooooooooo many variables! :laugh: For example I got accepted into Wake Forest which is a very nice school ranked #28 in the country. But it was also very expensive, so I decided it wasn't worth the money so I went to my state school instead. However if I was to get into something like Harvard then it would be worth my time and money to go there. It depends on the private school that you got into...yes, some private schools are a complete waste of money and they are also very poorly ranked. Those are a complete waste, yes!
 
That would depend on sooooooooo many variables! :laugh: For example I got accepted into Wake Forest which is a very nice school ranked #28 in the country. But it was also very expensive, so I decided it wasn't worth the money so I went to my state school instead. However if I was to get into something like Harvard then it would be worth my time and money to go there. It depends on the private school that you got into...yes, some private schools are a complete waste of money and they are also very poorly ranked. Those are a complete waste, yes!

See? Some things ARE worth the time and money. To some people, getting a degree first has enough meaning to them.
 
That would depend on sooooooooo many variables! :laugh: For example I got accepted into Wake Forest which is a very nice school ranked #28 in the country. But it was also very expensive, so I decided it wasn't worth the money so I went to my state school instead. However if I was to get into something like Harvard then it would be worth my time and money to go there. It depends on the private school that you got into...yes, some private schools are a complete waste of money and they are also very poorly ranked. Those are a complete waste, yes!


Uh... Harvard's free. That's so 2006 :laugh:
 
I totally agree with you. However, if you are very young (17 or 18) and want to do pharmacy for the money it's still profitable. You can do the 2 years of CC pre-pharm course work and then go to a public pharmacy school.

However if you are old (30+ is very old), then it would be very stupid to go back to pharmacy school as you will not be making more money. That I agree with completely. If you are old enough (35+ would be beyond old) then you would be LOSING money if you go back to pharmacy school. I have a woman in my class who is 46 and a man who is 41 and plenty of other older people in my class. I think they are beyond crazy for going back to school. It's financial sucide! I mean if you have a lot of money to waste then fine with me, but if you are doing this FOR THE MONEY then you are crazy.

Does that mean people older than 35 can't pay back the loans and will be in debt?
 
I'm 36. STAY IN SCHOOL!!!!!! More money by the age of 30? What about the next 30 years? A bachelors degree is NOTHING anymore, 40k is NOTHING! There is no way you will be able to save and invest 10k a year making 40k and owning a home. I could go on and on, but just STAY IN SCHOOL!!! Trust me.

There is not one pharmacist thinking "man, I should of quit school years ago and made 40k, I really F'd up", but there are plenty of people who regret not going on with school.

Again 40k is NOTHING!!!! Get married, have 2 kids and 40k (50k actually) will qualify your family for food stamps. No joke. Wives get pregnant, they don't work all the time, you can't depend on two incomes.
 
Dear lord this thread has alot of biases.:scared: I don't think i'll even comment.
 
Does that mean people older than 35 can't pay back the loans and will be in debt?

No, it just means that they would have made more money if they kept working and never went to pharmacy school.

As for N974's comments - 40K is pretty dismal (yet it's the median or average U.S. salary, so not exactly foodstamp level), but, unlike pharmacy, in other careers you have the opportunity to eventually double your salary. By the time you have kids, you're probably not going to be making 40K but 50K or 60K.

There's also the possibility that pharmacist wages stay stagnant, and inflation slowly eats away at pharmacy's inflated wages, since there is no longer the same demand so while our wages probably won't be decreased, they might not keep pace with inflation.

Additionally, the highest gain (i.e. the 120K salary) comes from being a pharmacy manager, which means taking your work home with you.

Ultimately, being a pharmacist is not going to make you a pauper, but I think the financial gains are marginal.
 
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Additionally, the highest gain (i.e. the 120K salary) comes from being a pharmacy manager, which means taking your work home with you.

Depends on the region and the company where you work.

I know people who get paid way more than 120k and they are probably never going to be pharmacy managers.
 
Depends on the region and the company where you work.

I know people who get paid way more than 120k and they are probably never going to be pharmacy managers.

Good to hear. Do they live in high cost-of-living areas, though?
 
Good to hear. Do they live in high cost-of-living areas, though?
Typically other way around. High-cost areas are typically saturated which means companys can offer lower salaries. Rural or undesirable areas typically offer higher salaries in order to attract talent.
 
Good to hear. Do they live in high cost-of-living areas, though?

Not really. One of them works in a really busy store, and another works in a really high crime area where pharmacists never want to work.
 
Typically other way around. High-cost areas are typically saturated which means companys can offer lower salaries. Rural or undesirable areas typically offer higher salaries in order to attract talent.

Ah, you're right, pharmacy is somewhat unique in that regard. OK, so rural or undesirable areas for 120K without becoming manager. Not bad if you don't mind the rural life and/or you have a spouse who doesn't need to work in a metropolitan area.
 
Bachelor Degrees are not completely useless in the fact as they are a stepping stone in the graduate world. case & point: many pharmacy schools have dual degree programs for mba, phd, mph and in order to get into these programs you need a bachelors degree. Also, the fact that many pharmacy schools are increasing pre-requistes is increasing the amount of classes that we have to take for pharmacy school. ( i've even seen a school that wanted analytical chemistry which was required for my biochemistry degree ).

to address the original OP: get your degree, start getting yourself prepared to apply: picking schools and gearing prerequistes toward the picked schools.
as for experience in pharmacy? it looks good but i think shadowing will work just as well. schools want to know that you have been exposed to the pharmacy environment. i would shadow in different areas of pharmacy, ie retail/ hospital. if possible maybe get an internship ( possibly in the area of researching drugs etc ).
 
There's also the possibility that pharmacist wages stay stagnant, and inflation slowly eats away at pharmacy's inflated wages, since there is no longer the same demand so while our wages probably won't be decreased, they might not keep pace with inflation.

Pharmacy does not have inflated wages, not even close. Pharmacists are Doctors. MBAs earn 100k easy. Anything more than 6 years of school demands 100k. The same inflation risk applies to any job.

Additionally, the highest gain (i.e. the 120K salary) comes from being a pharmacy manager, which means taking your work home with you.
Plenty of 30k-60k jobs where you take your work home with you too, again not a valid consideration.

Ultimately, being a pharmacist is not going to make you a pauper, but I think the financial gains are marginal.

I am in my mid thirties, married with two kids. I am not in the pharmacy industry, but my wife is. I remember being in my 20s and thinking 50k or even 80k was A LOT of money. It is not. Average household income for a two income home is 67k. Once you travel around this country you will see what "average" includes. Average is not suburbia. Average is a used Chevy and a 1500 sf home. Enough to be happy? ABSOLUTELY! Enough to get "ahead" and have put kids through college and have a comfortable retirement? Not likely.

Only 28% of Americans have a college degree, so when you see the average salary of 48k, that includes the 72% that DON'T have degrees.
Look at the unemployment numbers by degree level in the following link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_attainment_in_the_United_States

Point is, stay in school and get your PharmD.
 
Really, you don't think that MAYBE the huge shortage of pharmacists inflated our wages?

Hah, I laugh heartily at the notion that more than 6 years of school demands 100K. Seriously, Ph.Ds in microbiology and such earn well below 100K for several years after they obtain their PhD. In fact, looking around, it seems like the average salary is below 100K for a microbiology PhD.

Hahaha, and what if you were talking about someone with their doctorate in philosophy? Dude, for someone in their mid-thirties, you have some damned ridiculous notions. No one is going to ****ing give you money just because you were stupid and spent so much damn time in school.

Not to mention, in some cases (though pharmacy may be exempt), increased education is a bad thing since it means you have to be paid more! Well, OK, they don't HAVE to pay you more, but if you're not getting paid more, then you wasted your time, and employers don't like to hire someone they think is going to jump ship when a better opportunity comes along.

You're right, the average American salary does include those Americans who don't have a college degree, but you're acting as if he's never going to make any additional money. Sure, it'd suck to live your entire life at 40K or 50K - that's not so hot, but by the time he has to worry about paying for his kids' college, he's probably going to be bringing down 80K a year or more. Oh, sure, getting paid 120K as a pharmacist SOUNDS vastly superior, but the difference is whittled down after you factor in time spent, tuition costs, taxes, and lost investment opportunities.

He's young enough, 22 or not even 22 yet, where it's not a bad idea for him to go into pharmacy. If he was over 32, I'd say he's dumb, because you're losing money at that point - and you're probably losing money before that if you include lost opportunities, but it's hard to calculate opportunity cost. Investing in a Roth IRA, stocks, a house, whatever.

My point is that the financial gains to be had from going into pharmacy are marginal.
 
Really, you don't think that MAYBE the huge shortage of pharmacists inflated our wages?
Possibly, but that will continue.
1)Have you paid any attention to the health care debate over the past year? What is it, 5 million? 10 million ADDITIONAL people will be on insurance, which will then be 10x more likely to seek out a doctor for "minor" illnesses, which are almost always controlled by drugs.

1.5) The lack of any real liability reform in number 1. Meaning that techs can replace full fledged pharmsDs is going to be limited at best.....too much risk.

2) Aging baby boomers, HUGE demand coming up

3) Everyone is on drugs now. 10 years ago very few people had monthly prescription under the age of 50, now with the weight issue exploding, antidepressants, pressure for lower cholesterol numbers, blood pressure, etc, we are seeing double digit increases in drugs in people in their 20s and 30s.

4) The retail experience is changing as a result of number 3. Walgreen's and CVS's are replacing the standard convenience stores (7-11 types).

Hah, I laugh heartily at the notion that more than 6 years of school demands 100K. Seriously, Ph.Ds in microbiology and such earn well below 100K for several years after they obtain their PhD. In fact, looking around, it seems like the average salary is below 100K for a microbiology PhD.
"microbiology"? Really? With all due respect, spoken like a student who has limited work experience. Let me guess.....you are in your mid twenties, and finishing up school, getting a bit apprehensive about the job market your about to be dumped into? Next you will be using "Social Work" as another example that doesn't pay 100k. Well of course it doesn't, everyone knew that going in. Also, it is pretty common knowledge that PHDs make less the MBAs. Pay is all about the industry you are in, not your education level.

Hahaha, and what if you were talking about someone with their doctorate in philosophy? Dude, for someone in their mid-thirties, you have some damned ridiculous notions. No one is going to ****ing give you money just because you were stupid and spent so much damn time in school.
"Ridiculous notions"? I suppose if you mean notions developed in the real job world negotiating real salaries for myself and family. Applying for over 5 mortgages where you put down your HOUSHOLD income, and have your monthly payment come back depending on your debt ratios. Notions developed in the real world.

Not to mention, in some cases (though pharmacy may be exempt), increased education is a bad thing since it means you have to be paid more! Well, OK, they don't HAVE to pay you more, but if you're not getting paid more, then you wasted your time, and employers don't like to hire someone they think is going to jump ship when a better opportunity comes along.
In theory at best....how about if that extra education gets you a job 3 months quicker, even at the same pay as a bachelors? Even at your 60k a year example that is 5k a month, or 15k. Realistically it would be closer to 20 or 25k "saved" by not being unemployed. Also, who will be the first to be cut? The guy with the Bachelors, or the guy with the Masters?
You're right, the average American salary does include those Americans who don't have a college degree, but you're acting as if he's never going to make any additional money. Sure, it'd suck to live your entire life at 40K or 50K - that's not so hot, but by the time he has to worry about paying for his kids' college, he's probably going to be bringing down 80K a year or more. Oh, sure, getting paid 120K as a pharmacist SOUNDS vastly superior, but the difference is whittled down after you factor in time spent, tuition costs, taxes, and lost investment opportunities.
Again spoken like someone not in the real world. Everyone working for a living knows the benefit of dollar cost average, it is actually the theory you are using to back up the idea of NOT going into school. But easy math tells me making an extra 50k a year as a pharmacist pays off his school in 3 years and makes up his lost income in another 3. 6 years. If six years wasn't worth schooling, why go to college at all? Just go to work straight out of high school and make 35k a year, after all, you saying a bachelors only earns you 50k, so you are going to school for FOUR YEARS for an extra 15k a year? Um, nope.


He's young enough, 22 or not even 22 yet, where it's not a bad idea for him to go into pharmacy. If he was over 32, I'd say he's dumb, because you're losing money at that point - and you're probably losing money before that if you include lost opportunities, but it's hard to calculate opportunity cost. Investing in a Roth IRA, stocks, a house, whatever.
Again, pie in the sky. If he is 32 he would break even by time he is 40, he would have 15 years done of a typical work career (starting at 25) and have 25 left!!!! Assuming a retirement age of 65. Even if he retires at 60 he is WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME. I hope your not a math major.

My point is that the financial gains to be had from going into pharmacy are marginal.

Also, pharmacy allows part time work, schedule flexibility, etc. Things not typically available in other career fields. That is why my wife switched from Advertising. Sure she could of made 60k a year like she was, but that involved 50-60 hours a week, limited vacations, long commutes, bringing work home with her, face time, etc.

I actually signed up on this board just to reply to this post. The idea for anyone in the working world, that not getting a better degree is so preposterous, that I could not let this go. I have to question this guys parents motivation, or thought process's. Here is another thing you learn later in life, your parents don't know everything.

So this is for you PonderingChoice, and I don't mean to belittle you in any way. However, (always a BUT), your current thought process is so skewed, so off, that it will harm all of your relationships in the future, personal and professional. You have the right ingredients, but are mixing them wrong. You are on the right track, being involved, stating your opinions, etc...but you just need some tweaking. It is no lie that people with confidence and optimism do better in life overall, better pay, better mates, better kids. Your current thought processes and methods of justification, will only torpedo yours, and your comrades efforts.

We were all anxious to get out of school, I was, and I did. We all look for ways to justify less work, and somehow make it come out ahead. We twist and molest the facts to fit our ideas, so we can be comfortable and sleep well. It is almost always, ESPECIALY DURING PERIODS OF HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, to stay in school.
 
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Your replies within my quote make quoting you bothersome!

Anyhow, yes, more people will be on drugs, but there's also an increasing number of pharmacy schools to compensate for that. The number of schools that have opened is pretty significant, and more will undoubtedly open. Given the previous shortage and the fact that even the main stream media knew about the problem and the baby boomers, I don't think a similar shortage will arise again. Will real income stay the same? Probably, unless profit-driven private schools keep opening to fill their own coffers - and they have no incentive not to, as long as they can find dupes who are willing to fill their seats.

You're right about it being the industry you're in which determines your pay, but I'm not the one who said 6 years of schooling means you pull down
100K.

This site: http://www.mymbacareer.com/mba-facts/mba-salary.html

Quotes average salaries for an MBA based on school and location, and all of them are below 100K except for New York City. Some are 70K.

As for Masters vs. Bachelor's, have you ever heard of being "over-qualified" for a job? Again, IF you got hired, maybe you'd have a better shot at avoiding the axe than the guy with the Bachelor's, but that's if you get hired in the first place.

As for your "easy math," your easy math avoids taxes (including different tax rates), interest accumulated from loans, and lost opportunity costs. Seriously, look at what a Roth IRA can do.

As for periods of high employment, you're right, it is better to stay in school.

In the end, there's no reason he can't do his pharmacy pre-requisites, get some pharmacy experience to see if he likes working retail (where 70% of us will end up), and then see what his opportunities are once he's completed his bachelor's.

Again, pharmacy isn't a dumb decision for him, he's very likely to make more money, but the additional money isn't necessarily significant. I'm not advising him against going into pharmacy, but this is my general warning to people who think pharmacy is "all that and a bag of chips." Especially the older folks - they have less time to benefit from the higher salary and are sacrificing more in lost earnings.

Ultimately, I AM in pharmacy school right now - but I'm honestly not sure if the monetary gains are going to be "noticeable," or if I look at lost opportunity costs, I will have made anything at all, especially if I decide not to work in retail. I just hope it's going to make me happier in the long term.
 
Quotes average salaries for an MBA based on school and location, and all of them are below 100K except for New York City. Some are 70K.


New York's income tax might as well make it 70k lol. Almost 9% state tax, 3.6+% city tax, and then federal tax ... total combined tax of sometimes over 45.5%
 
Your replies within my quote make quoting you bothersome!

Anyhow, yes, more people will be on drugs, but there's also an increasing number of pharmacy schools to compensate for that. The number of schools that have opened is pretty significant, and more will undoubtedly open. Given the previous shortage and the fact that even the main stream media knew about the problem and the baby boomers, I don't think a similar shortage will arise again. Will real income stay the same? Probably, unless profit-driven private schools keep opening to fill their own coffers - and they have no incentive not to, as long as they can find dupes who are willing to fill their seats.

You're right about it being the industry you're in which determines your pay, but I'm not the one who said 6 years of schooling means you pull down
100K.

This site: http://www.mymbacareer.com/mba-facts/mba-salary.html

Quotes average salaries for an MBA based on school and location, and all of them are below 100K except for New York City. Some are 70K.

As for Masters vs. Bachelor's, have you ever heard of being "over-qualified" for a job? Again, IF you got hired, maybe you'd have a better shot at avoiding the axe than the guy with the Bachelor's, but that's if you get hired in the first place.

As for your "easy math," your easy math avoids taxes (including different tax rates), interest accumulated from loans, and lost opportunity costs. Seriously, look at what a Roth IRA can do.

As for periods of high employment, you're right, it is better to stay in school.

In the end, there's no reason he can't do his pharmacy pre-requisites, get some pharmacy experience to see if he likes working retail (where 70% of us will end up), and then see what his opportunities are once he's completed his bachelor's.

Again, pharmacy isn't a dumb decision for him, he's very likely to make more money, but the additional money isn't necessarily significant. I'm not advising him against going into pharmacy, but this is my general warning to people who think pharmacy is "all that and a bag of chips." Especially the older folks - they have less time to benefit from the higher salary and are sacrificing more in lost earnings.

Ultimately, I AM in pharmacy school right now - but I'm honestly not sure if the monetary gains are going to be "noticeable," or if I look at lost opportunity costs, I will have made anything at all, especially if I decide not to work in retail. I just hope it's going to make me happier in the long term.

Glad to hear your in Pharm School...:thumbup:....sounds like you must of played your cards right and worked hard to get where you are...congrats. It is "nose to the gridstone" work ethics like yours and my wife's (not mine) that make this country great.

You are right about loving what you do, I love my job (not Pharmacy), and never feel like I work. That being said, I know plenty of people that hate their 40k a year jobs, some people will hate every job....well if your going to hate any job, you might as well hate one making $120k instead of $50k!
 
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