For many cosmetology students, going to beauty school is an opportunity to turn their creativity and passion into a career. In the right environment, they can learn everything from hair styling and hair cutting to working as a beauty sales professional, or even owning their own salon – and this is just within a single program.
While learning and working within the beauty industry sounds exciting to many people, one of the biggest obstacles they face is simply knowing where to start. To get a feel for what the process looks like, and important things to consider about your new career path, check out these four things to know before going to beauty school:
1) Know Your Career Options
Before you go to beauty school, it is really important for you to understand the different career options you’ll have once you graduate from your program. Take the cosmetology program, for example, where you can pursue careers ranging from Hair Stylist to Beauty Writer, and everything in between (you can read all about these artsy careers here).
This can make the classes you take within your program especially interesting and fun. You’ll learn about all types of different career paths you can pursue, completely based on your unique skill set and passions. Whether you’d like to focus on delighting clients with the latest trend in hair styling, or if you’ve set your sights on the business side of beauty and hope to open your own salon one day, rest assured that you’ll learn all about those things (and more) in beauty school.
If the amount of exciting career choices seems like too much to choose from before you’ve even attended a class, don’t worry – most beauty schools offer career services to their students and even help place them in a job upon completion of the program. Plus, you can always ask your instructors for more information on different career options.
2) Research the Beauty Career Outcomes
Students should research and understand career outcomes for the beauty industry before starting classes. In some cases, new cosmetology students are fresh out of high school, or they spent a year or two in college. This makes showing parents or families a positive career outlook so everyone is on board extra important.
In other cases, cosmetology students are just returning to the workforce after starting families, or they are looking to change careers. In either case, they should know the odds and strategies of finding work in the beauty field.
Good news for those looking into attending beauty school: the career outlook for the industry is positive. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs like hairstylists and cosmetologists are expected to see a 10% increase between 2014-2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. So, what does this really mean? Basically, this data says that over the next few years, there will be more of a need for beauty school graduates, making it an exciting time to enter the field!
3) Understand the Beauty School Enrollment Process
After looking into the types of beauty careers you can have and the outcomes for them, you should take a look at the beauty schools in your area and what the enrollment process looks like. In many cases, this includes submitting an application and touring the campus.
Here at VICI, we have our future students meet with our advisers to go over their background and goals, as well as discuss what the programs are like. We take this time to really get to know the person, and we encourage students to come with any questions they have about the school itself, careers in beauty, or general advice about working in cosmetology.
Sometimes, enrolling in a program can feel like an intimidating task. By looking this process ahead of time, you’ll understand what you should be preparing for, and starting your education in the beauty industry suddenly won’t seem so daunting.
4) Expect Hands-On Learning
And finally, one of the most important things (if not the most important) to know before going to beauty school: expect hands-on learning. If you are coming out of high school or have been taking some college courses, you can expect cosmetology classes to be quite a bit different. While there are times where you’ll be in a classroom environment and take notes (it is really important to understand the fundamentals before you start practicing), a good portion of your education is about being hands-on: cutting real hair, applying makeup to real people, and being in a real salon environment.
This direct experience is valuable for many reasons, as it allows you to learn by doing. It also helps you decide which career path is best for you. Maybe you are entering beauty school planning on being a professional makeup artist, but after seeing how much you enjoyed working in hair, your goals change – and that’s great!
At the end of the day, going to beauty school is about pursuing a career that allows you to be creative and work in a field that you are truly passionate about. To learn more about how you can launch an exciting career in cosmetology, just click here to download our free guide!