The Pharmacist Is In.

Another sign of the healthcare industry’s growth trajectory is the news that Roosevelt University is opening a College of Pharmacy at its Schaumburg, IL, campus.  According to Dean George MacKinnon III, the college’s initial courses will begin in the fall of 2011 and enroll approximately 65 students.

Pharmacology is a high-demand, well-paying field, thanks to the aging American population and the healthcare industry’s increasing dependence on prescription drugs.  The United States spends $986 million annually on prescription42-18496211 drugs – the highest in the world.  Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that pharmacy jobs will grow by 22 percent between 2006 and 2016 – a rate that translates to solid career prospects in a demanding field.

Michael Patton, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, notes that the shortage of qualified pharmacists means that new graduates can easily find $100,000 a year jobs with very little effort.  They may be aggressively recruited by nationally branded pharmacy companies that offer lucrative incentive packages such as signing bonuses and student loan repayment programs.

Roosevelt is speeding up the training process by offering a three-year program versus the traditional four-year curriculum.  With tuition expected to run between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, this will let new pharmacists enter the workforce sooner rather than later.

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