Taking year off to gain experience instead of completing Bachelor's? is it a good idea?

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Nov 13, 2018
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I want to become a pharmacist and I heard that a bachelor's degree is not required for admission. I want to apply for the class that starts in August 2020. I will be done completing all of my pre-requisites next semester and I was thinking of spending the year in between working as a pharmacy tech to gain experience in the pharmacy field and spend the extra time preparing to obtain a very good P-cat score. My other option would be to spend the following 2 years taking courses that I would need to have in order to get my bachelor's degree. I think that it would be a huge financial help if I don't have to spend those two extra years taking classes that I won't need before I can enter a pharmacy program. However, I have been reading that many of the students from incoming classes do apply once they get their bachelor's. I wanted to ask you for some guidance. What do you consider that would be a better choice? Thank you very much for your help!

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What makes you want to become a pharmacist? Here are my recommendations to you from most recommended to least:
1) Forget about pharmacy. The field is oversaturated, job opportunities are rapidly declining, and salaries are dropping. Continue your bachelor's while exploring other career options.
2) If you truly want to be come a pharmacist regardless of the high risk of future unemployment, try to find work part time as a pharmacy tech while pursuing your bachelors. Preferably in a hospital setting rather than retail, as that's where more opportunities will be in the future. (Although keep in mind you will most likely want to do 2 years residency after 4 years of pharmacy school to remain competitive in this job market)
3) If you cannot work part-time while going to school, then go ahead and take time off to work as a tech full-time just to see if this is truly what you want to do.
for sure start working as a pharmacy tech, immediately. I figured out about 2 weeks into the job that I didn't want to do that type of work.
IMO, I don't think it matters at this point if you have all your pre-reqs. Working as a pharm tech, I feel like, is just as good as being a full time student. And yes, it would be the perfect time to study for your pcat while working.
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It would help financially to not take the classes, but if you get a bachelor's degree, you always have other options. If you still want to go into health care, you could apply to medical, dental, optometry, PT schools with the bachelor's degree. You probably won't be able to get to any grad schools without a bachelor's degree first.

Like Timbo said, this field is oversaturated. I'm a pharmacy student myself and I like what I do. I like studying about pharmacy and drugs but I'm afraid of job outlook when I graduate in 2022. My school just transitioned over to a 7 year program with BS after 4 years. This allowed a lot of my friends to apply to medical school. When it was just 0+6 without BS, it's either get Pharm.D or you get nowhere. You might want to be a pharmacist right now, but when you think about the field and as you keep studying you might change your mind. It doesn't hurt to maximize the amount of options you have.
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Take the time off to work in a pharmacy setting or work part time while obtaining a bachelors.

To many people join a pharmD program never stepping foot in a pharmacy only to realize it’s not what they imagined. Get a bachelors with enough healthcare prerequisites just so you have pipeline options in other fields.

Saturation is real, student loans are real, decreased salaries are real. Prepare and you won’t go wrong.
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