Evaluating the Pharmaceutical Industry's Need for Graduates with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Objectives. The pharmaceutical industry traditionally hires pharmacists with bachelor of science (BS) degrees for formulation development, manufacturing, etc. As the BS in pharmacy degree is phased out, it is important to know if manufacturers still need employees with the expertise that the BS degree provides.

Methods. Data were collected from a survey asking how pharmaceutical manufacturing scientists felt about employing persons with a BS in pharmacy, what persons with BS in pharmacy degrees currently do for their company, and what courses would be of value in a degree designed for industry employment. Demographic data were also collected.

Results. Survey packets were mailed to 1,000 AAPS members and 255 surveys were returned. Eighty-three percent of respondents agreed that pharmacy schools should offer BS degrees specific for industry employment. Courses in drug development and organic chemistry were the most desirable, while radiopharmaceuticals and immunology were the least favored. Respondents indicated that they would like to hire 826 persons with BS in pharmacy degrees within the next 5 years, creating a potential job market for individuals with a BS in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Conclusions. There is a need to provide the pharmaceutical industry with qualified persons trained at the BS level of pharmaceutical education. Educational programs of this type should be continued or developed.