But, as Katie Zavadski explains, it didn't last:
Over the last 20-odd years, the number of pharmacy schools in the United States has almost doubled. There were just 72 such schools in 1987; today, there are more than 130.I consider this an object lesson in the mismatch between what young Americans want and what our society offers. Most people don't want to be perpetually self-inventing free agents, marketing their own brands. They want safe, stable jobs at good wages. Many are willing to study hard in school, provided they are guaranteed such jobs on graduation. What pains young people is the lack of any obvious path from where they are now to a middle-class life. Any career with really good job prospects is quickly overwhelmed with applicants; we saw this with law school a decade ago, and now pharmacy and microbiology.
At first, graduates found work easily. No matter where in the country a young pharmacist wanted to settle, the number of jobs available far exceeded the number of people qualified to fill them. Slowly, the numbers began to even out, and 2009 marked a turning point: The number of jobs available was roughly on par with the number of pharmacists searching for work. The days of signing bonuses and vast job choices were over.
According to the Aggregate Demand Index (ADI), which measures pharmacist job outlooks, employers in the Northeast began reporting more job candidates than slots in December 2011. Quickly, everywhere from Hawaii to Utah became a tough market. Now, only about ten states have decent employment prospects, with enough openings for every job seeker. In the rest of the country, pharmacists are seeing either a surplus of candidates, or a rough balance of supply and demand.
This would not be a problem if there were not so many new pharmacists in the pipeline. . . . "My estimate [is] 20 percent unemployment of new grads by 2018," Daniel Brown, a pharmacy professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2013. "The job market is [stagnant], but we're still pumping out graduates every year.”
Not that there aren't still jobs; things aren't that bad. It's the lack of clear career paths that troubles many people. As the world becomes in some ways more free, it also becomes more uncertain for everyone.