Cosmetology Programs: Turning Beauty into Business

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Cosmetology Programs: Turning Beauty into Business
Today’s cosmetology programs have a new face that includes business training. Learn about the future of cosmetology programs at community colleges.
iStockphotos credit Lyashik
Cosmetology has traditionally been the realm of trade schools that specialize in training and licensing hair stylists, nail technicians and skin care specialists. Many of the current trade schools are directly tied to a specific product brand, such as the Aveda chain of training institutes. However, the face of cosmetology is changing - and not just with new makeup skills. Today, cosmetology programs are expanding into community colleges that recognize a background in basic business principles, as well as cosmetology training, will help graduates move into and advance in the field of cosmetology.

Career Outlook for Cosmetology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the general job outlook for the field of cosmetology is favorable, with employment expected to grow at a faster than average rate in this industry. The industry is also considered one of the few recession-proof areas in which to work today. Cosmetology may incorporate the following positions:

  • Barbers who are responsible for cutting and styling men's hair
  • Hairdressers and stylists who cut, shampoo and style hair
  • Manicurists and pedicurists that work specifically with polishing nails and applying extensions
  • Estheticians or skin care specialists that offer facials and full body treatments
Nearly all of these positions will require licensure by the state in which the individual will work, although specific requirements vary by location and position.
This video explains the pros and cons of being a cosmetologist.
Bringing Business to Cosmetology
Because many cosmetologists go into business for themselves, a basic business background is very helpful for either advancement or entrepreneurship in their industry. While trade schools may offer some courses in running a retail establishment, they don't provide an actual degree to back up the knowledge and experience of the student. This is where community colleges can fill an important niche. By combining a business background with cosmetology training, these schools believe they better prepare their students for a satisfying career in the field of cosmetology.
Although the time to obtain an associate's degree in cosmetology may be longer than simply obtaining licensure or certification in the field, many community colleges offer lower tuition rates than trade schools. This means that students who select a community college for their cosmetology training may not end up paying much more than they would at a private training institute nearby.
In addition, the student receives the business education necessary to go into business for herself at some point in the future.
To illustrate the changing face of cosmetology, consider these two community colleges that are helping future cosmetologists get everything they can out of their chosen career.
In Texas, one community college is bucking the national trend and expanding their cosmetology school rather than eliminating it.
Lone Star College recently announced the opening of their School of Cosmetology with the assistance of a Houston-based manufacturer of hair care products, Farouk Systems. Steven Head, president of the college campus, believes that the partnership with Farouk will add value to an already popular program at the school, both for its business training and potential employment opportunities after graduation.
This video describes the cosmetology program at Lone Star College.
The program not only emphasis cosmetology skills, but management, marketing, and even the chemistry and environmental elements associated with cosmetology. 
According to Inside Higher Ed, students have the option of earning a one-year certificate or an associate of applied science in cosmetology.
This Michigan school also provides ample training in the field of cosmetology, whether individuals want to become certified in nail technology or cosmetology, or prepare for a management role in their industry. According to the Mott Community College website, an associate of applied science degree is available in hair care salon management, and certification is provided in the following:
  • Cosmetic services
  • Cosmetology
  • Nail technology and salon management
  • Cosmetic services esthetician
Students can also opt for alternative training preparation to become a nail technician. Students choose to take day or evening classes, and they can go to school on a full or part-time basis. Graduating students will be fully prepared to take state board exams for licensure and provide services in accordance with the State Board of Cosmetology and the Health Department.
This video outlines the cosmetology program at Mott Community College.
Cosmetology has always been a popular career choice, but today's industry requires additional training and education for individuals who are very serious about advancing in their field. Community colleges are once again rising to the call, offering comprehensive cosmetology training programs that incorporate practical experience and training with a business education that is sure to help you enjoy success in your beautiful career.
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