With so many opportunities for getting your education through an online program, you may be wondering if cosmetology school can be completed over the Internet.
The answer is currently a resounding "No". A fully online beauty school simply does not exist.1
Of course, even if one existed, it would likely lack some of the critical elements of cosmetology education: cosmetology is about beautifying others, and that means working with people and practicing, under supervision, the techniques you are studying.
No virtual substitute exists which can match the value of this experience.
And when you attend cosmetology school in-person, you also have the opportunity to make valuable connections, to begin networking right away. This can be especially valuable because overall employment of barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 The personal connections made in cosmetology school may be important later when you are looking for a job, for clients, or for a career mentor.
Cosmetology school offers you the option to specialize as a nail technician, a skin care specialist, or a hair stylist. Each area offers its own rewards, most of which have to do with the daily interaction you will enjoy with your clients:
According to a survey by Nails Magazine, most nail technicians listed that meeting new people, helping others, and using their creativity are favorite parts of their work.3 Nail technicians learn to specialize in nail care as well as artistry,4 and most course work would literally be "hands-on", for a good reason!
This career is likely to be a growing field, as people are living and working longer, while at the same time, wishing to appear younger. Both women and men are seeking out the services of skin care specialists.5 A skin care specialist must be a "people person", friendly and courteous in daily interactions.6 What better way to practice your people-skills than working with people each day in your classes?
Finally, if you were working to become a hair stylist, your cosmetology school would train you in basic and advanced cutting, coloring and styling techniques, plus in the latest trends. Learning the details, up close and in person, is critical to success. As former Professional Beauty Association Chairman Scott J. Buchanan says, "We also get to change people's lives and make them feel good about themselves." It's all about the people, and that means getting the proper training so that you send clients home glowing inside and out.
While it is true that some of the more book-based cosmetology courses may be increasingly available online, the standard in cosmetology education is an in-person, hands-on approach. Otherwise, it is impossible to learn, practice and perfect the skills you will need every day.
Keep in mind employment and income cannot be guaranteed by any educational institution for students or graduates.