Should You Go to Beauty School?

If you want to work in the beauty industry, the answer here seems pretty self-evident. Or is it? While you certainly have to learn the proper technique, earn practice hours, and pass an exam in order to become certified in your chosen field, you could potentially make it through without ever setting foot inside a classroom (literally or virtually). But why reinvent the wheel by going it alone when there are so many options for schooling in a wide variety of price ranges to fit nearly any budget? Like any pursuit in life there are bound to be pros and cons to pursuing a course of continuing education. So here are just a few things you may want to consider before you decide to pay your dues and hit the books or shine on beauty school in favor of a different approach.

The first thing to be aware of is that when you enter the beauty industry, you begin an education that never ends. There will always be new information, products, and techniques to explore, so if you think you can get by without any schooling you're probably just kidding yourself. That said, you can either opt for a formal style of education or go with a self-taught method. And there are many areas to choose from when it comes to the beauty industry.

You could go for a cosmetology license that allows you to attend to skin, hair, and nails, for example, and specialize from there, doing cutting or color at hair salons, becoming a nail technician, applying makeup professionally, or performing non-invasive spa treatments like facials and wraps. And once you're licensed you can work in a spa or salon, shoot for jobs in the entertainment or fashion industries, or start your own business (or freelance). And all of these areas are covered in standard beauty school courses.

However, you need to determine what type of career you want before you start looking into schooling for the simple reason that there are a wide variety of schools offering different curriculums. Some are targeted at specific fields (hair, skincare, etc.) while others cover all the bases. Some will merely help you to obtain certification while others will end with you earning an associate's degree in cosmetology. You may also want to seek schools that offer placements (apprenticeships) or those that funnel students into subsequent programs such as dermatology or other medical fields.

Keep in mind that there are also many options when it comes to your budget and your schedule. Since most students have to work while going to school, money and time are important considerations. You can easily find schools offer night classes or even online courses, although you'll just have to do some research in order to locate a program that works with both your time constraints and your financial situation.

Although you don't necessarily have to attend beauty school in order to earn the certification needed to break into the industry, it's never a bad idea to receive education in your chosen field. And while it will certainly cost you something, the payoff is that you will learn everything you need to in a timely manner and have access to many resources that might otherwise be beyond your reach. So should you go to beauty school? If you want the best chance to succeed in the beauty industry, then you absolutely should.

(Guest Post by Carol Montrose)

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