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Starting in Pharma: what can you do with a Pharmacy degree?

Posted on: 30 Aug
Pharmacy degree can open many doors when it comes to starting your career in the world of work. With the industry bringing a trade surplus of £3bn a year to the UK, and accounting for 20% of the country’s total expenditure on R&D, Pharmaceuticals offers myriad opportunities for the new graduate. 

However, you don’t necessarily have to become a Pharmacist in order to get a foot on the ladder. Though it’s an exciting career prospect, your Pharmacy degree can actually prepare you for a whole range of jobs within the world of Pharmaceuticals. With technology opening up new avenues and creating new jobs all the time, the sky’s the limit.

It’s time to see where you fit in.

So what can you do with your degree?

Traditionally, there have been three routes that Pharmacy graduates can pursue once leaving higher education, and these are Community, Hospital or Industrial Pharmacy, which let you tailor your interests- and skillset- to different areas of the job.

Community Pharmacists are the first port of call for the general public when it comes to receiving healthcare across the UK. Working out of local Pharmacies, their job involves helping patients and the public, offering advice and support, and dispensing medicine when needed. They are also taking on more of a clinical role in communities, monitoring long-term conditions like asthma and diabetes, as well as delivering vaccinations to the general public.

Similarly, Hospital Pharmacists work within the NHS and Private Hospitals, offering advice to other professionals and getting involved in manufacturing, testing, supplying and even developing medicines for public use. It’s a job that’s always changing, and if you thrive on customer interaction, then it might be the perfect role for you.

However, where IQVIA CSMS specialises- and where the most change is occurring- is at the front line of medicine development, which is Industrial Pharmacy. With new technologies becoming available, the expertise of Industrial Pharmacists can be applied to creating ever-smarter medicines, as they are heavily involved in researching, designing and testing new medicines and treatments for the general public. Using the latest techniques, R&D employs millions of people around the world, and is an exciting and ground-breaking area to be involved in, especially if you want to experiment with new technologies like AI, big data and technologies like Bioprinting.

Breaking the mould

However, having a degree in Pharmacy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow the career paths laid out above. At its heart, a Pharmacy degree is all about science, which means that you can demonstrate your ability to think analytically, handle complex subjects and mathematics and draw upon years of training within the Pharma industry that you can apply to other areas. Though of course you could go into careers in journalism, law, or finance, there are hundreds of career paths you can take within the industry itself. 

Many people in Pharmacy, for instance, go onto Academia, whether that’s speaking and giving university lectures or conducting your own research into new medicines within Clinical Academia. However, if you’re more interested in the legal side of Pharmaceuticals, then perhaps a career in the vital area of Regulatory Affairs might suit you better. Found everywhere from Pharma companies to the halls of government, you would be working closely with firms, using your expert legal and regulatory knowledge to ensure that the medicines your company manufactures and supplies are compliant with national and international law. Given the strict laws that govern the world of Pharma and Biotech, it would be a fast-paced and fast-changing job that you could thrive in, given an eye for detail.

Essentially, working in Pharma allows you to put your degree to good use helping people: whether that’s by working in Primary care, the military, or even in care homes, you’ll be using your expert knowledge to help people make the best choices for their health, and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life as a result.

What do you need alongside your degree?

Though of course a degree is useful, it’s what you bring to the table apart from that which will ultimately help you first set your foot on the career ladder. 61% of recruiters say that ‘drive’ and ‘passion’ are the top things they look for in candidates, especially in new graduates.

Furthermore, taking the time to gain a little work experience within the industry before you start job-hunting can be an invaluable way of deciding which career might be right for you- and proving to prospective employers that you’re dedicated and passionate about the job in question. 

Kick-start your career with IQVIA CSMS

However you choose to use your Pharmacy degree, we’re here for you. At IQVIA CSMS, we match the best candidates with vacancies from all around the Pharmaceutical industry. From working as a Clinical Trial educator to a Hospital Representative, it’s time to get involved: browse our vacancies today.