The 2017 Pharmacy Job Outlook – What A Facebook Ad Can Tell Us

As a practicing pharmacist, I continue to hear rumblings and news trickle in about the 2017 pharmacy job outlook.  Fellow pharmacist blogger Jason Poquette put together a nice article early in 2016 about what the pharmacy job outlook looks like.  It wasn’t very good unfortunately.

As I focus ahead to the 2017 pharmacy job outlook, Pharmacist Provider Status (read my latest post on this) has to happen.  I won’t quit and you shouldn’t either.  It will help everyone in the profession.  I believe provider status would totally shift the landscape and tilt the scale in the direction of a much better job outlook for pharmacists.

So, back to what prompted this article.  I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw something that I have never seen before.  I saw a sponsored ad for a college of pharmacy.  This really surprised me, and I had two initial thoughts.

  1. I’ve heard whispers of applications being way down for colleges of pharmacy.  Although anecdotal evidence, this helps reinforce to me that colleges of pharmacy are struggling and will likely continue to struggle to get quality students to fill their seats.  In 2013, there was an article about an 8.1% drop in applications and seeing this ad really makes me believe that this trend is continuing.  In discussions with pharmacy preceptors, the other alarming concern (for the job market) I’ve heard is the number of applicants for residency programs.  The competition for residencies especially in bigger cities is very stiff.
  2. The other interesting thing about the ad was that a college of pharmacy is using social media as a tool.  I remember speaking to a few professors at pharmacy schools about my idea to use social media, start a blog and help educate students, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.  Them being lukewarm on the idea is being generous.  Obviously this is a shift in mentality, at least for the college that was using the advertisement.

Do you have any stories or info to share about the 2017 pharmacy job outlook?  Please feel free to comment below!


Written By Eric Christianson

November 30, 2016

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