Pharmacy Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Pharmacy Degree

Earning a pharmacy degree offers students the skills and ability to work as professionals within the quickly expanding pharmaceutical and health care industries. Students within pharmacy degree programs gain a versatile education based in the disciplines of chemistry, biology, health care administration, communications, and human anatomy and physiology. Pharmacy degree programs give students the knowledge necessary to advance to licensing exams necessary for employment within various organizations and facilities.

As many students manage family and work responsibilities while pursuing a degree, most colleges and universities have developed online programs to extend instruction beyond campus locations. Most online programs feature virtually the same educational experiences and materials as on-campus programs with the added benefits of a more personalized degree experience and increased flexibility in course scheduling. Online courses offer groups of 25 students access to instructors and other classmates via one on one Internet chats. Online classes also provide students with 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Online programs are often one of the most convenient and more affordable means of expanding education necessary for future professional success.

What Students Learn Within A Pharmacy Degree Program

Students within pharmacy degree programs gain the skills necessary to work as pharmaceutical professionals within many organizations and health care facilities. Most programs offer students the knowledge necessary to prepare, dispense, and utilize drugs as well as research and develop them. Most graduates are required to complete a minimum of an associate’s degree to qualify for employment as pharmaceutical technicians. Courses within an associate degree program in the discipline of pharmaceutical technician include: introduction to data processing, English composition, principles of accounting, statistics, pharmacy procedures, pharmacy calculations, essentials of pharmacy management, business communication, college Algebra, introduction to medical assisting and medical law/ethics, clinical procedures, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, pharmacology and drug administration, anatomy and physiology for allied health professionals, medical terminology for the secretary, introduction to psychology, introduction to philosophy, and a pharmacy internship. Graduates may advance to licensing programs as determined by State and employer regulations to work within entry level positions or continue studies within higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs in pharmacy studies offer students an expanded understanding of the field necessary to specialize skills and training. Courses within bachelor degree programs include: general chemistry with biological focus, fundamentals of biology, analytic geometry and calculus, English composition, pharmaceutical sciences, organic chemistry, fundamentals of biology, fundamentals of speech communication, general physics, biology of the living cell, cell structure and function, multivariate calculus, introduction to psychology, introduction to sociology, biochemistry in pharmaceuticals, introduction to microbiology, statistical methods, dosage forms, human anatomy and physiology, technical writing, physical chemistry, drug discovery and development, introduction to pathophysiology and drug activity, drug discovery and development, drug classes and mechanisms, and a clinical experience. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may advance to employment upon gaining licensure or continue studies within a master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs offer students specialized training in the field of pharmacy administration to advance to a number of employment options upon gaining certification and licensure. Courses within a master’s degree program include: foundations of medication therapy management, biopharmaceutics, thermodynamics in pharmaceutical chemistry, biostatistics, biostatistics, introduction to pharmacy pathways and careers, pharmaceutical calculations, immunology, pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacology, physiology, pharmacokinetics, introductory pharmacy practice experiences, therapeutics, pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacology, pathology, applied drug information, experiemental design and inferential statistics, hospital pharmacy, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, pharmaceutical marketing, pharmacotherpay, clinical psychopharmacology and mental health research, quanititative and qualitative research methods, and an internship. Graduates who complete master’s degree studies often advance to employment as pharmacists and other positions upon gaining required licensing. Some graduates may continue studies within a doctoral degree program to be qualified as experts in the field.

Doctoral degree programs give students the skills and training necessary to work as instructors and researchers in the expanding field of pharmaceuticals. Doctoral courses include: basic pharmaceutics, biological chemistry, biometrics and pharmaceutical analysis, biometrics and pharmaceutical analysis, diagnostic imaging, integrated laboratory, introduction to pharmacy and pharmaceutical care, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy in the health care system, pharmacy skills and patient counseling, basic pharmaceutics, biological chemistry, introduction to the immune system and applications to the immunologic and genetic therapies, pathophysiology, integrated laboratory, pharmacy skills and patient counseling, principles of pharmacy practice, principles of drug information and literature evaluation, medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, endocrine and paracrine pharmacology, biopharmaceuticals and pharmacokenetics, pathophysiology and therapeutics, and a clinical experience. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs generally advance to licensing procedures as determined by State and employer regulations and continue to employment.

Prospective Jobs For Pharmacy Degree Graduates

Pharmacy degree graduates gain a solid educational background necessary for employment in a variety of career options in the field. Employment for pharmacy degree graduates is based upon education level, area of speciality, and related work experience. Graduates with associate degrees generally advance to employment as pharmacy technicans, pharmacy aides, or pharmacy assistants. Bachelor degree graduates often advance to employment as pharmaceutical sales representatives, pharmacist assistants, and entry level associate researchers within pharmaceutical companies. Graduates who complete master’s degrees often work as senior researchers, clinical pharmaceutical data managers, or pharmacists with some additional training. Doctoral degree graduates often advance to employment as clinical, staff, or hospital pharmacists, regional pharmacy directors, lead researchers, or instructors within colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Pharmacy Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete pharmacy degree programs have varied earnings based upon education, specialty, and experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for pharmacy technicians range from $17,617 to $33,030 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees who work as pharmaceutical sales representatives earn $48,540 to $99,570 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as senior researchers generally earn $51,640 to $101,290 annually. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees and work as pharmacists generally earn $92,670 to $121,310 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Pharmacy Degree Graduates

Graduates with pharmacy degrees have the potential to build long term, stable careers as professionals within the fast growing medical and health care systems. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that job growth for pharmacist technicians is expected to increase by 25 percent at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. Factors like an aging population, medical advances, and the trend for pharmacy professionals to perform administrative and patient care duties will only add to the expansion of employment opportunities within the field and increase the demand for qualified workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports employment for graduates qualified as pharmacists will increase by 17 percent at a faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018.

Job growth for pharmacists will increase due to the demand for pharmacists to offer patient counseling and patient care services like immunizations. Additionally, as the population ages, medical advances and new medications will add to job growth for qualified pharmacists. Graduates who complete pharmacy degrees will find many advancement opportunities based upon educational training, experience, and specialization. Many graduates begin employment within entry level positions and advance to jobs with increased responsibilities and higher salaries. Most pharmacy technicians who complete undergraduate studies gain promotions to supervisory positions within large pharmacies and health care facilities and advance to specialty or sales positions. Some continue education to advance to positions as pharmacists. Graduates with advanced degrees generally begin employment within staff level pharmacist positions and gain promotions to supervisory or managerial positions upon gaining experience. Some graduates with advanced degrees also advance to executive positions as district or regional managers. Others may advance to marketing, research, sales, production, or quality control positions within the pharmaceutical industry. Many also advance to owning and operating independent pharmacies upon gaining relevant experience and adequate funding.

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