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Topic: Pharmacy career? What do you guys think of it?  (Read 3146 times)

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Offline Bublik

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Pharmacy career? What do you guys think of it?
« on: December 28, 2012, 01:49:54 PM »
Hello,

I'm going to be starting my undergraduate chemistry program soon. I am currently in 12th grade at high school. I finished AP chem last year and I loved it and did well.
My "dream job" is to do exciting research after earning a PhD, and pure science appeals to me more than applied versions of it (engineering, etc.). I know I am only in high school and it probably seems like I don't know what's coming for me, but believe me I did lots of research and solved a fair share of undergrad chem problems (particularly for olympiad preparation).

I'm kind of scared of going into this path. Everyone seems to be saying that there are no jobs, and those that exist are very competitive and don't even pay well (<50k).

I've never really considered pharmacy before, but I've heard that some of the jobs are research positions. Moreover, employment rates are much higher and pay is much better.

Are these research jobs, well, legitimate? Is it like developing new or more efficient ways to synthesize drugs, while actually working in a lab environment and testing the procedures, or, is it something else, not as involved scientifically and not as interesting? Can anyone who comes out of pharmacy school just pop up and get a research job for some pharmaceuticals company?

Offline orgo814

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Re: Pharmacy career? What do you guys think of it?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 01:56:36 AM »
Since you only had AP (which is *supposed* to be equivalent to college general chemistry), you really haven't been exposed to the kind of chemistry involved in pharmaceuticals. Once you take a year of organic and a year of biochemistry, you will have a good idea of the kind of chemistry involved. These two courses are very different than general and AP Chemistry. I'd also recommend getting involved in research with a faculty member during your undergraduate years to confirm your interests.

Offline Dan

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Re: Pharmacy career? What do you guys think of it?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 10:42:32 AM »
I'm kind of scared of going into this path. Everyone seems to be saying that there are no jobs, and those that exist are very competitive and don't even pay well (<50k).

You need to think about what you want from life. If your ambition is to settle down somewhere with a permanent position and a high wage then I would not recommend becoming a scientist.

Most scientists make a decent but not extravagant living pursuing science and many have to move around the world to find work. It depends what your priorities are, it's not for everyone.

Studying chemistry at university doesn't tie you to a particular path though. Get involved with research as soon as you can so that you have a good idea of what you'd be getting into and whether it interests you enough.
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Offline JGK

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Re: Pharmacy career? What do you guys think of it?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 02:01:48 PM »
Studying Pharmacy will lead to a career in Pharmacy as this type of study involves Science as fell as law. Science for the studying drug action, pharmacology and formulation procedure and law relating to the prescribing of pharmaceuticals.

If you are looking at a more research oriented career, it may be better to look at  medicinal chemistry or synthetic organic chemistry.

Also, be realistic, recruiters are not going to be waiting at the gates to offer you your dream job as you graduate. You will have to work and gain the necessary experience before that type of opportunity arises. Also, deciding a career path now is premature. Having not experienced much chemistry, you haven't a lot to go on. Get into the subject, find out what you like and go with that.

You'll have 30(+) years of working life which is better spent doing stuff you enjoy rather than stuff you hate but do just for the wage packet.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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