UH Hilo pharmacy graduates prove competitive in job market

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Aug 10, 2011

College of Pharmacy alumni from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been hired for jobs that require a PharmD degree in 16 states as well as Guam and Washington D.C. at various retail chains, community pharmacies and hospitals. According to a survey conducted by the College of Pharmacy's (CoP) Department of Student Services, more than a third of the graduates who found work so far accepted jobs that allow them to stay in Hawaiʻi.

Upon their graduation in May 2011, 66 percent of the recent graduates reported that they have obtained a job or were working in a paid residency. The average salary for graduates working full-time but not in a residency program is $117,000.

“These numbers show the breadth of impact our inaugural graduates are already making since graduating just three months ago,” Dean John Pezzuto said. “Their remarkable success at securing jobs before taking the exam for licensure confirms that these new pharmacists have hit the ground running and will continue to make us proud.”

With a 95 percent response rate, 80 out of 84 graduating PharmD candidates responded to the Graduating Student Surveys. They answered questions about what they will be doing after graduation and were asked how they thought CoP did in preparing them for a career in pharmacy.

Preliminary results from the surveys also found:

  • 24 percent of the class applied for the residency match program
  • 95 percent of those who applied received at least one interview
  • 53 percent of those who applied received a residency job offer
  • 59 percent of the respondents to the survey were Hawaiʻi residents for tuition purposes during the spring 2011 semester
  • 60 percent of these Hawaiʻi resident respondents stated they had either secured employment in a job that required a PharmD or were working in a paid residency
Inaugural CoP alumni will be working in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Hawaiʻi, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. They accepted jobs at the Children’s National Medical Center, CVS, Fred Myer, GE Nuclear, Guam Memorial Hospital, Heartland Regional Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children, K-VAT Food City, Menehune Pharmacy, Marsh, Mina Pharmacy, Palos Community Hospital, Roe RX, Safeway, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Target, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, Walgreens and Walmart.

The graduates also are working in several highly competitive pharmacy residency positions throughout the nation in order to gain intensive training in health care settings. Residencies are often a requirement for employment in hospital pharmacy practice or as a faculty member at a pharmacy school. Locations include the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and the Banner Baywood Medical Center and Heart Hospital in Arizona, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Palos Community Hospital and Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois.