It’s one of the hardest decisions of your life. We’re not talking about buying a house or proposing to marry. We’re talking about a decision you must make at a young and uncertain age; your degree. It’s a massive decision that will impact several years of your life. Not only that, but the degree you take will determine your future career. That means this one decision could impact the rest of your life.
Understandably, you might be a little apprehensive about making that decision. That’s why we’ve written this post for anyone considering a cosmetology degree. We’re going to go through exactly what a cosmetology degree is, as well as how you should prepare to take one. Then, we’ll go through some of the many career paths that the degree can open up for you in the future.
What Is a Cosmetology Degree?
Cosmetology, broadly speaking, is the study of a varied amount of beauty treatments. The degree comprises not only studying these treatments but also how they are applied to people.
In this respect, a cosmetology degree can get very specific. When taking the degree you can specialize in certain treatments that will affect your career path in the future.
Some of these include hairstyling, skincare, manicures, hair removal, cosmetics, and many more. You don’t need to know what exactly you want to specialize in before you start a cosmetology degree, though it might help when you come to begin your studies.
The important reason to invest in a cosmetology degree is to receive a cosmetology license. This is a state requirement to become a practicing cosmetologist in the future. You should ensure you look up the requirements of the state where you live or want to live in the future before you apply.
For example, you’d need to look here for cosmetology laws in New York.
Cosmetology is a great option for students interested in beautification and has many potential career paths available in the future. We’ll take a look at these in a moment, but first, let’s discuss how to prepare for the degree itself.
How Can I Prepare For a Cosmetology Degree?
The first way in which to prepare for a cosmetology degree is to check you are qualified to apply in the first place. You’ll usually need a high school diploma, or need to pass what’s known as a General Educational Development test.
If you meet these requirements, the next best thing that you can do is research the right program for you.
As an example, the cosmetology training program at Tenaj Salon Institute provides a thorough 9-month program teaching real-world experience. You should look for a program like this which gives you hands-on training as well as full accreditation when you pass your course.
Once you’ve chosen your course, another way to prepare is to do your practical research. You’ve probably already got a specific interest in mind, so work to build your knowledge before you begin your studies.
If you’re interested in hair styling, look at the latest trends and fashions. Or, if you’re interested in cosmetics, make sure you keep trying new products and follow the big names in the business.
With a degree, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of the experience. It’s on you to prepare appropriately; if you do, you’ll end up becoming the best cosmetologist you can be.
Cosmetology Career Paths: In Hair
Now that we’ve outlined the qualification itself and how to prepare, let’s look at what you can get out of it. One of the main specializations of a cosmetology degree is in hair, where there are multiple career paths open to you.
The first of these is becoming your own salon or barbershop owner. You could work in a salon as a professional hairstylist, but the degree also gives you all the understanding of the profession to open your salon yourself.
You and several of your course mates could get together and open your salon together. If you’re interested in this career path, it is worth doing some business training first if you can. Though an exciting proposition, owning a salon is about more than just the hair itself.
You could also go a more clinical route and become an esthetician. An esthetician is a more medical route for a beautician and involves providing skin and hair removal treatment.
If you’re looking to become an esthetician you’ll need to focus on skincare as well as hair removal. You should also consider taking some extra training in massages or other spa treatments which can help you stand out from the competition.
Cosmetology Career Paths: In Nails
Another career path stemming from a cosmetology qualification is specializing in nail care.
You could become a nail technician, which is someone who specializes in manicures and pedicures as well as synthetic nails. Much like with the hair route, you could look to own your own nail salon if you gather enough business understanding beforehand.
With becoming a reliable and talented nail technician you should focus on your creativity and flair within the profession. Nail technicians don’t just work in nail salons either, as you can find them on cruise ships, in hotels, or within the fashion industry.
Think about how you could make becoming a nail technician your dream job by working somewhere unexpected.
Cosmetology Career Paths: Makeup
One of the most sought after professions that build from a cosmetology degree is in makeup. If you want to become a makeup artist, the best place to start is by taking a cosmetology degree.
With makeup, there are a wide variety of different places where you could find yourself working. You could work for a brand directly in their store, becoming an expert in their products and how they are applied.
Or, you could be a traveling makeup artist yourself who works on a freelance basis. Maybe you could specialize in providing makeup for weddings, or public speaking events.
One of the most attractive places for a makeup artist to work is in the fashion and performance industries. You could prepare the makeup of the models on a big-budget fashion catwalk. Or, you could work behind the scenes of a theatrical production, on the dancers or actors before they go on stage.
With makeup, creativity is more important than ever. But it’s also about learning and understanding the basics. There’s no way you can innovate without first understanding what works and what doesn’t.
The best way to do that is by taking a cosmetology degree beforehand.
Cosmetology Career Paths: Other Options
Though the above are the three main areas of specialization, today there are more career paths than ever after a cosmetology degree.
Take for instance the prevalence of the internet and beauty bloggers and vloggers today. With the right equipment and approach, you could become the next big thing in the fashion world from the comfort of your bedroom.
Or, if you have a penchant for writing and finding a good story, you could become a fashion journalist. Though you’d need to get the experience in journalism also, a cosmetology degree gives you a strong background understanding of the industry to take even further in a profession like this.
You could also become a personal stylist. These people work for a particular group or individual and design all of their outfits including hair and makeup. They are hugely popular today for celebrities who are always out in the public eye.
Stylists aren’t just limited to working with celebrities though. You could become a stylist in the performance industry for a particular television show or feature film. Or, you could move into the wonderful world of advertising.
All those television commercials and billboards you see around? A large number of them required input from a stylist to ensure that the people in them are presented appropriately for their audience.
And so Many More
As you can see by the variety shown here, there are so many different career paths available to you after a cosmetology degree. So many even that there are likely some you wouldn’t even think could relate to your degree.
The best thing for you to do is think about what exactly it is you want to be in 10 years. Then, you can look into the many ways in which a cosmetology degree can help you work towards that goal.
If you have more burning questions about job seeking that haven’t yet been answered, make sure to take a look around our website. Use our search bar to find specific topics like cosmetology so that you can be prepared for what lies ahead.
It’s important to remember overall that if you want to study a cosmetology degree, just do it! You should study what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. That way, a future career path is bound to present itself to you if you work hard at what you love.