It was once believed that a university degree was all Canadians needed to secure relatively stable and desirable employment. But these days, students are graduating at the top of their class only to find themselves at the end of an unemployment line. A rocky economy and the changing landscape of post-secondary education have made choosing a program of study more confusing than ever. In June of 2013, CBC News reported that unemployment rates for recent grads were at 14.5% and rising. Conditions are no better across the border, where the Wall Street Journal reported that last year 284,000 American college grads were scraping by on minimum wage. These numbers serve up a slice of reality one can’t ignore when considering a skills upgrade or choosing a new educational path. Thankfully, the news isn’t all bad. In a recent study of which diplomas and degrees lead to well-paying jobs, researchers at Georgetown University awarded pharmaceutical studies top points as one of the most lucrative post-secondary programs.
The importance of certification
Pharmaceutical studies outrank so many of its competitors because the program offers students the chance to develop and hone skills that are actually in demand. A diploma in clinical research can open doors at university research centers, pharmaceutical companies, and offers degree holders in science an opportunity to re-brand themselves on the job market. Certification through HPLC courses can also help students gain access to the ever-expanding world of pharma-research and development, with positions both in and out of the lab, including supervisory roles in pharmaceutical quality control. According to the Canadian government, expansion of the pharmaceutical industry is second only to growth in information technology. Many colleges promise students high job placement rates after graduation, and more often than not, they fail to deliver. It’s more important than ever to investigate market trends in the area of study you wish to pursue.
At the end of the day, your post-secondary education is meant to take you somewhere: into the adult world of self-sufficiency and work satisfaction. We no longer have the luxury of pouring time, energy and money into educational programs that provide food for thought, but ultimately fail to put food on the table. If you’re considering upgrading your skills or are heading off to college for the first time, remember the age-old rule of supply and demand: choose a field that wants what you’ll have to offer!
Don’t you deserve a solid return on your academic investment?