A Pharmacy School Bubble
Ready to burst? I know Pharmacy Schools have popped up like mushrooms all around ETSU. From The New Republic.
The Pharmacy School Bubble Is About to Burst: One of America's most reliable professions is producing too many graduates and not enough jobs
The pharmacy boom began in 2000. That year, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services suggested that 98 percent of Americans lived in an area adversely affected by a pharmacist shortage. Almost 6,000 pharmacist jobs stood empty, and the shortage was only predicted to grow worse. The following year, a group now known as the Pharmacy Workforce Center predicted a shortfall of 157,000 pharmacists nationally within two decades as demand and responsibilities increased while the number of pharmacists stood still. As Baby Boomers aged, the thought went, pharmacists would be able to fill some roles traditionally held by doctors, and would be able to counsel them on how to take the medications prescribed to them.
Quickly, the free market kicked in. Over the last 20-odd years, the number of pharmacy schools in the United States has almost doubled. There were just 72 such schools in 1987; today, there are more than 130.
At first, graduates found work easily. No matter where in the country a young pharmacist wanted to settle, the number of jobs available far exceeded the number of people qualified to fill them. Slowly, the numbers began to even out, and 2009 marked a turning point: The number of jobs available was roughly on par with the number of pharmacists searching for work. The days of signing bonuses and vast job choices were over.
Purdue University, whose pharmacy school is ranked as one of the best in the nation, makes employment information about its graduates publicly available. By and large, the numbers are impressive—from salaries to unemployment statistics. But some statistics have changed. In 2008, graduates got up to eight offers; in 2009, up to 12. These days, the range is from one to three offers per graduate. In 2008, only one student was still seeking work when the university surveyed the graduating class; by 2012, that number had grown to eight students, and by 2013, to 12. (The average graduating class has about 150 students.)
According to the Aggregate Demand Index (ADI), which measures pharmacist job outlooks, employers in the Northeast began reporting more job candidates than slots in December 2011. Quickly, everywhere from Hawaii to Utah became a tough market. Now, only about ten states have decent employment prospects, with enough openings for every job seeker. In the rest of the country, pharmacists are seeing either a surplus of candidates, or a rough balance of supply and demand.