Student pharmacists’ career choices: a survey of three Nigerian schools of pharmacy

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Chukwuemeka M. Ubaka
Ochie U. Mabel
Adibe M. Ogochukwu


Students, Pharmacy, Education, Career Choice, Nigeria


Background: There is little data on the preferences of pharmacy students as regards their future pharmacy job choices in Africa and this has created concerns amongst licensing bodies, employers and also the institutions they graduate from.

Objectives: It assessed career choices and factors that influence these choices of pre-registration pharmacists.

Methods: Final and fourth year students from three schools of pharmacy were approached with a previously validated and employed questionnaire comprising questions on future job choices and reasons for that job choice. Data collected were subjected to descriptive and inferential analysis.

Results: Four hundred and eighty eight students took part in the study (response rate 71.5%). Majority (78.8%) was younger than 26 years and had a work experience (68.2%). Job flexibility was significantly more important to females, while younger students considered salary most important (p<0.05). Hospital and community practice were most preferred career choices.  Other demographic factors (especially gender, marital status, previous degree and previous work experience) significantly affected career choices.

Conclusion: Age, gender, previous work experience affect career choices of graduating pharmacy students. Patient-oriented practices (e.g. hospital and community) remain the most preferred careers.

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