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?