We often hear the story about there being no jobs in the pharmacy industry, but at the same time employers keep telling us that they cannot find pharmacists to work for them. So, who should you believe? According to data from the Department of Employment & Graduate Destinations Survey, pharmacy is experiencing a period of very strong job growth relative to other occupations in Australia, and is consistently in the top four occupations for graduates gaining employment within four months of graduation.
According to the 2017 survey, pharmacy follows medicine as the second most in-demand industry for Australian undergraduates. Medicine undergraduates had the highest full-time employment rate of 95.9%, followed by pharmacy (95.2%), dentistry (86.8%) and rehabilitation (85.7%).
So why the difference between the strong employment data and the continued talk of a saturated jobs market? One suggestion is that the perception of competition for jobs stems from the fact that in the largest cities in Australia there are often multiple institutions enrolling high numbers of students, who upon graduation mostly want to work close to the city centre. This creates a competitive market for graduate jobs in relatively concentrated spaces. However, outside of the centre of primary cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne there is a real shortage of pharmacists and other health professionals. Even so, it is our experience that Griffith University pharmacy graduates are consistently able to successfully compete for jobs in prestigious hospital and community pharmacies in major cities across the country. This confirms that there are no barriers to good quality pharmacy graduates gaining employment anywhere within Australia.
At the Gold Coast, Griffith is the only pharmacy school and we graduate less than 100 students per year. The students find work in the Gold Coast, Northern New South Wales, Brisbane, Melbourne, rural Queensland and Australia-wide. We encourage our students to work hard at their studies, take advantage of the employability training we offer, network at the array of pharmaceutical events we are part of, create positive connections in your placements and most of all to be flexible in where pharmacy takes you.