June 15, 2018

Is Going to Beauty School Still Going to College?

With high school coming to an end, you’re probably starting to think about what you’re going to do next. Typically, it is encouraged that you apply for college, but what does that mean exactly? If you have a love for all things beauty, then you may be considering a beauty school, but is that college?

The short answer is no, beauty school is not the same as a traditional college at a four-year institution or a two-year community college. Beauty schools are trade schools, sometimes also called vocational or technical schools. These schools are non-degree schools that can provide diplomas, certifications, or even associates degrees, depending on what type of trade program is completed. Trade schools can prepare people to work in a huge variety of careers, ranging from dental hygiene to mechanics!

Beauty School Versus Traditional College


Traditional College

There are many factors to consider when choosing your education after high school. Universities award degrees that can help people earn good positions in their field of study. Traditional colleges and universities often focus on academics, which means you’ll spend most of your time in a classroom, listening to professors, and taking notes. However, universities are usually extremely expensive and may not even offer a program that you are passionate about.

Beauty Schools

Beauty schools can allow you the opportunity to get job training for a career you love. Universities don’t typically teach job skills but focus instead on academic learning, which can make finding employment after graduation a challenge. Beauty school students spend a lot of time learning by practicing on the salon floor, so the transition from student to stylist after graduation is often smooth!

Like traditional college, you can choose what program you want to study. For example, Avalon Institute offers the following programs:

  • Cosmetology: If you have a passion for all things beauty, cosmetology may be the right program for you. You’ll learn things like haircutting, styling, coloring, and more.
  • Esthetics: Is skincare the most important thing to you? Then consider esthetics. In an esthetics program, you’ll learn skincare science that will help people feel and look their best.
  • Barbering: Barbering is the art of cutting, shaving, and grooming hair, beard, and mustaches. It is a great way to show your creative side as well as show off your technical skill.
  • Massage Therapy (Phoenix & Las Vegas Only): Massage therapy focuses on relieving body pain and stress from the body. If you can see yourself working in a spa, this may be the program for you.

The programs at beauty schools often cost significantly less money than a traditional college. Even an associate’s degree generally takes two full years to complete, let alone a bachelor’s degree which can take four or more years. Beauty school students often graduate in a year or less, depending on the schedule they select. On top of that, beauty school tuition usually costs a fraction of what a four-year degree would cost. Beauty schools like Avalon Institute even offer many financial aid options to those who qualify, similar to a university or community college.

Blonde stylist blow drying a blonde client's hair.

Careers For Beauty School Graduates

You’d be surprised at the different careers you can get after graduating beauty school. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics beauty industry jobs have seen about a 10% increase over the last couple of years. Some of the jobs you can get after graduating are:

  • Hairstylist
  • Salon Manager
  • Makeup Artist
  • Medical Esthetician
  • Beauty School Instructor
  • Beauty Blogger

These are only a handful of jobs you can get after graduating from beauty school. If you believe that any of those careers sounds like a perfect fit for you, then you should consider beauty school after high school.

Making the Choice

How can you find out if a career in cosmetology, esthetics, or nails is right for you? Making the decision can be challenging, but touring the beauty school you’re interested in can help you with your decision. You can get a feel of the school, the students, and the staff to help you get an idea of what school will be like.

Many different types of people can become successful beauty professionals, so make sure you talk with an admissions or career counselor at the beauty school so they can help you identify some of the traits that might make you a fantastic cosmetologist.

Deciding between college and any trade school can be challenging, especially if your parents or family aren’t expecting it. Everyone has different thoughts and ideas about beauty school and what it can do for you, so the best way to help people learn about the career you’re interested in is to bring them with you on your tour of the school. If your family or friends see you excited about your education at beauty school, it will be much easier for them to be supportive! If you need to give some reasons to attend cosmetology school, here’s a list of our top eight.

Two college girls, one brunette and one blonde, sitting in front of a campus building.

Explore Your Future Today

If you’re struggling to decide on your career path after high school, we can help you make a decision! Many visitors can determine right away if beauty school is right for them when they visit Avalon Institute. It also helps most people decide which beauty school is the right one for them since there are usually many options to choose from. Contact us to learn more about Avalon today, and we’ll set you up with a tour of our school!

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