When trying to answer the question “Should I go to beauty school?” you really need to ask a series of questions.
Let’s take a look at the top questions you need to answer before making a decision…
Question 1: How challenging will beauty school be for me?
If you are considering a career that requires cosmetology training, as well as a career that requires a four-year degree, this is the first question you should ask yourself. The simple truth is, the answer to this question won’t be the same for everyone. But there are many reasons why starting with this question can lead you to the right answer for you.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you pursue the right career for you – whether you go to beauty school or a 4-year school is not a decision that should be made by anyone else. But it is important to discuss your decision with your family and loved ones who may be affected by your career choice.
Of course, the first step to answering this question is requesting information about the types of programs you are considering, whether they are beauty programs or bachelor’s programs from a four-year college. You’ll need to understand the costs, time for completion, financial aid options, and career outcomes – and learn what the current and projected employment landscape is in your area.
Sound like a lot?
It’s not, really. As far as beauty school options, we already connect students with schools every day, in all fifty states, plus D.C. So if you want to see what cosmetology programs are available near you that you can compare with four-year programs, just choose your state in the search box to take a peek.
To come to the best conclusion about whether you think beauty school or college will be easier, we’re going to break it down topic-by-topic below. If you have anything to add, let us know!
Question 2: What is your passion?
All students tend to perform better when they are studying subjects that interest them and align with their professional goals.
Have you ever met a future fiction writer who loved to sit through math classes? Or future scientists having more fun in physical education?
You get the point…
When you force yourself to do chores, that’s not as fun as forcing yourself to go hiking or practice your instrument or play your favorite sport or write the next chapter of your novel, right?
If you have a passion for beauty and want to work with hair, skin, nails, esthetics, massage therapy, or any other area of this field, then why not explore it?
The benefit for many students is the shorter timeline for completion with beauty school programs compared to four-year college and university programs. In fact, if your long-term career goals require a four-year degree, but having cosmetology experience would make you happy in the short-term, then a career in beauty could potentially pay the bills while you worked towards a bachelor’s level degree.
Question 3: What are the financial differences?
Let’s be real-- cost matters when you’re making an enrollment decision.
You have to think of several ways to pay for your education these days. Fortunately, students with an interest in cosmetology have many of the same options that students who attend four-year schools.
This can vary, depending on accreditation. But, there are plenty of cosmetology school options in every state. That’s one of the reasons why we tell students to request information from all their options. You never know what the big picture is financially until you have a clear idea of what you can expect each program to cost and compare it to the salary potential in your area.
Question 4: What are the career options in my area?
Once you request information and start speaking with beauty school advisors, be sure to ask what kinds of career options are available in your city or region.
Many schools have staff dedicated to student success. After all, the success of every school depends on the success of its students. Ask what companies, salons, or other career opportunities may be available in your area of interest.
We often hear data in national terms, without looking at employment numbers at a local level. There can be a big difference in the need for a certain occupation in your area. Your city might also offer some unique opportunities that you can aim for.
Question 5: What kinds of beauty or four-year programs work with my life?
No matter how important earning your degree is, you will want to compare program flexibility when determining if a beauty school program or four-year degree would be ‘easier’ in your mind. Again, this is a subjective topic, so we are trying to help you determine what’s best for you.
When it comes to four-year programs, you can probably find online and campus options in many areas. However, these programs will take four years to complete. (Unless you find a program that is more efficient…they are out there.)
If you are working a job that you don’t feel you can live on for the next four years, then a bachelor’s program can be difficult to complete. In order to fit in time for class, studying, and maintaining your family and personal responsibilities, many students have to cut back on work or tighten their bootstraps, so speak. Keep this in mind when you compare beauty schools to four-year programs.
Question 6: How soon can I start working?
One thing that attracts many beauty school students to cosmetology programs is the fact that they can qualify for professional work after just a couple of months, in some cases. Plus, many beauty school programs include the hours of training requirements you will need for licensure in your state.
In some cases, these opportunities can turn into career opportunities. And no matter what, they help students get a feel for their chosen career, gain hands-on experience, and learn what it takes to conduct themselves in a professional manner in the workplace when they complete their training.
On the other hand, if you are pursuing a four-year degree, your path can seem a little more unpredictable. First of all, you can’t predict what the employment landscape will look like four years down the road.
If you are also considering a career in a field like healthcare, then you can be a little more certain about your long-term prospects. That’s why you might consider earning a cosmetology diploma or certificate, and start working towards your bachelor’s once you get your beauty career going.
Think about it: If you were a stylist, working at a salon where you rented a booth, or had some form of agreement with the owner, you could have an easier time scheduling your own time for taking classes and studying.
As long as you are giving quality work to clients and working the required number of hours, how you fit it all in can be up to you. And it’s even easier to schedule your own time if you’re a freelance cosmetologist.
Regardless of the path you ultimately choose, you can tell by now that the answer to this question is really up to you. While we can’t make the decision for you, we can give you the tools you need to make it yourself!
Want find the best cosmetology schools in your area and compare them to four-year programs? Just contact the beauty schools on our site and request program details to get started!