If you have ever been intimidated by the prospect of working in the pharmacy field, have no fear―it’s never been easier to learn the skills and get the pharmacy degree you need to unlock your potential. With the rise of online degree programs and other new opportunities, you can now get the education necessary to become a pharmacist and fulfill your career goals in as little as two to four years.
Despite the relatively short amount of time to obtain a degree, it’s important to remember that getting a degree in pharmacy requires dedication, hard work, and steadfast commitment. But it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience that can lead to a great career in the pharmaceutical industry.
From the understanding of advanced pharmacology to the complex practice of medication management, the knowledge and skill sets you will gain when you obtain a pharmacy degree will be invaluable. The skills you learn in a pharmacy program will shape the way you practice, not just as a pharmacist, but in many other areas of your professional life. Read on for more insight into the field, benefits of obtaining a pharmacy degree and why now is the time to go for it!
In order to become a pharmacist, you must complete an undergraduate degree in pharmacy followed by post-graduate professional examination. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be awarded the title of registered pharmacist.
What is a Pharmacy Degree?
A Pharmacy Degree is an accredited educational degree conferred to those who successfully complete a course of study and fulfill the graduation requirements in pharmacy or a related field, such as pharmacology. The program focuses on the complex science, administration, patient relations and management aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s one of the most respected disciplines in healthcare, and its precepts are used to inform evidence-based practice decisions and research outcomes. Pharmacy degrees provide students with the knowledge necessary to enter into this competitive field.
There are two major schools of thought when it comes to determining if an individual should pursue a pharmacy degree. On one hand, many people believe that a pharmacy degree is essential for success in the field. It exposes students to more diverse career options and presents them with more opportunities for advancement within their chosen profession. On the other hand, some argue that experience counts more than education when it comes to being successful in any career. However, entry-level roles often require at least an associate’s degree in order to secure employment and advance within a career; thus, obtaining a pharmacy degree can be highly beneficial for job seekers.
No matter which side of the debate you fall on, there is no denying that today’s competitive healthcare environment necessitates the need for individuals who possess a pharmacy degree. With a wealth of knowledge gained from such an education comes greater career opportunities to fill various leadership roles within this rapidly evolving industry—something that will soon make pharmacy degrees indispensable for practitioners wishing to remain influential within their field.
Now that we’ve covered what a Pharmacy Degree is and debated both sides of the argument regarding its necessity, let’s move on to discuss Types of Pharmacy Degrees available for prospective students.
Types of Pharmacy Degrees
Pharmacy degrees come in many forms. At the undergraduate level, there are two primary degrees available: Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSPharm) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). BSPharm degrees typically take four years to complete, while PharmD programs may last up to six years. Both require completion of a clinical internship and successful passage of the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
Receiving a BSPharm allows for opportunities in research or drug industry pharmacy, as well as entry-level community or hospital positions. While a BSPharm does not grant the privilege of prescribing medications, working as a pharmacist with a Bachelor’s can open the door to management or leadership roles. Earning a PharmD carries the advantage of being able to diagnose patients and prescribe medicine, and can lead to more options for employment such as healthcare technology, hospital administration, insurance pharmaceutical consultancies and government positions.
The debate exists for those deciding on whether to pursue a BSPharm versus a PharmD degree. Every student’s situation is unique, and it’s important to consider all factors, including interests and short/long-term goals before deciding on a program. Ultimately though, earning either degree will set one up for great prospects in pharmacy and open doors across various sectors.
Earning a pharmacy degree comes with many benefits, which will be discussed in the next section.
Benefits of Earning a Pharmacy Degree
Earning a degree in pharmacy is an investment that offers many personal and professional benefits. A pharmacy degree provides a solid foundation for a career filled with advancement possibilities, impressive salaries, and job security. Knowing the different advantages of obtaining a pharmacy degree can help individuals determine if this profession is a good path for them to pursue.
One immediate benefit of earning a pharmacy degree is the competitive salaries it may provide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists earned an annual median salary of $126,120 in 2019, making them one of the highest-paid healthcare professionals. Pharmacists also experience greater job security as demand for qualified professionals continues to grow. Additionally, they are employed by many industries such as retail stores, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, offering more opportunities than other occupations in healthcare.
The education necessary to practice pharmacy requires dedication and hard work. Those who obtain their degree need to understand and be able to explain complex scientific concepts while also developing proficiency in communication and problem-solving skills. Fortunately, once students complete the requirements of their program, they may find that those same skills are transferable to other related health professions such as medical sales or regulatory compliance. From there, pharmacy graduates have the opportunity to move up the ranks in their chosen field or pursue leadership roles with medical practices or hospitals where they can further enhance their professional growth and development.
Obtaining a pharmacy degree also provides an invaluable knowledge base that can be applied in daily life. Graduates will gain expertise not just in drug interactions but also anatomy and physiology, compounding medications, and patient care skills. These qualities often provide graduates with greater confidence when managing their own personal health needs or those of family members.
In short, getting a degree in pharmacy pays off both financially and professionally. With the right attitude towards learning and commitment to achievement, graduates will be well-prepared for success in this field of medicine. The next section will discuss how earning a pharmacy degree may contribute to career advancement within the field.
Earning a degree in pharmacy is an investment that offers numerous financial and professional benefits. Pharmacists earn competitive salaries and have greater job security. Obtaining a degree requires dedication and hard work, but provides transferable skills to pursue other related health professions. Graduates will also gain valuable expertise in drug interactions, anatomy and physiology, and more – all of which may be applied to their own personal healthcare needs or those of family members. A pharmacy degree can thus contribute to career advancement within the field.
Career advancement is one of the driving factors for individuals seeking to achieve success in the pharmacy field. An increase in job opportunities, along with better pay, are just two of the advantages associated with earning a pharmacy degree. While many individuals find great satisfaction from becoming established in one role over an extended period of time, others prefer to move up through an organization or seek out different positions within the same company. Investing in a pharmacy degree can open doors to potential career advancement and further educational opportunities that may not have been accessible otherwise.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee that completing a pharmacy degree will lead to automatic success and promotion in any field. Just because someone has achieved a certain certification, it does not ensure they will receive a higher salary or better working conditions. Often times, individuals who complete their degree find that they still need additional experience and on-the-job training before they can gain access to other positions. There are also cases where employers do not recognize recent graduates from certified programs as having the same level of knowledge as those with more experience in their field.
No matter what direction individuals decide to pursue after graduating with a pharmacy degree, it is essential to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to career advancement. The key is having realistic expectations, being prepared for ongoing learning and development, and having the flexibility and adaptability needed to take advantage of new opportunities and unforeseen paths that may arise along the way.
Now that we’ve explored the potential benefits of obtaining your pharmacy degree, let’s look at what steps can be taken next when selecting a pharmacy program that suits your individual needs best.
Choosing a Pharmacy Degree Program
Choosing the right pharmacy degree program can be one of the most crucial decisions you make in your academic career. It’s important to research what types of available grades, specialization areas, and student extracurricular activities are offered at different schools and universities so you can find the perfect fit for you.
Some pharmacy schools offer various levels of degrees such as Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Doctorate degrees. Depending on what your personal educational goals are will determine if an Associate or Bachelor’s degree program is best for you. While some of these programs may vary in length of studies, they typically take between two and four years to complete. With a Doctorate program, you’ll need to dedicate more time and effort as part of the program will require you to take courses at a medical institution.
It is important that when looking into different degree programs that students also consider any specialized areas of study which are offered. Researching if the school has a curricula with emphasis on certain specializations including pharmacology, drug research and development, commuity-based approaches to health care delivery, pharmacoeconomics etc. These are all disciplines which could help give graduates competitive advantages in the job market after their studies are completed. Therefore it is essential to understand each school’s offerings before making a final decision concerning enrollment into a specific program.
Finally, it would also be useful to look into any student extracurricular activities that may be available upon attending a particular school. Some schools may have clubs specifically tailored for aspiring pharmacists ranging from organizing medication seminars to taking trips to local pharmacies in order to observe patient-pharmacist interactions first hand. Taking advantage of any extracurricular activities which interest you can open up new doors while helping build skills relevant to the profession prior to entering full time work post-graduation.
By taking some consideration into all points discussed above, choosing the right pharmacy degree program should become easier when narrowing down potential options that fit your individual criteria. After selecting the right program for you, understanding specialized areas of study will be essential as you progress through your degree program towards graduation day.
- The Institute of Medicine found that the number of qualified applicants to pharmacy schools outpaced available slots by more than 2 to 1 in 2011.
- A 2017 survey found that 80% of pharmacists with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree reported job satisfaction and 99.3% rated the quality of their education as good or excellent.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy jobs are projected to grow 6% from 2019-2029, making it faster than average compared to other occupations.