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Cosmetology Schools, etc
Old 11-20-2007, 09:18 AM   #1
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Cosmetology Schools, etc

Our 18 Year old DD has decided that college is not for her (right now, anyway) and would like to pursue a certificate in cosmetology (which is not, apparently, the study of cosmets and meteors, but has something to do with hairdressing and fingernails).

My (admittedly uninformed) impression of these and some other trade/technical schools is that many build up unrealistic expectations in the minds of prospective students concerning the earning potential in a particular occupation, then devote themselves to separating students from their money. Still, there is a state licensing process for these skills, so I assume the schools do teach the skills needed to pass that test.

Any experience here on how to find a good course of training, and on the "biz" in general?

Our hope is that she'll be happy and get motivated in a positive way. She may find that she enjoys it, she may find that she wants to eventually start her own business, or she may decide that college is the better way ahead after doing this for awhile. Regardless, she's made this decision and we're trying to figure out how best to help her.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Any experience here on how to find a good course of training, and on the "biz" in general?
Sounds like an idea for another discussion board... maybe a supplement to "The Fashion Spot"?

I wonder what the licensing agency does for people who just want to experience the business without having to go through all the training ($$) and licensing. Is there some sort of internship or community-college program?

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Our hope is that she'll be happy and get motivated in a positive way. She may find that she enjoys it, she may find that she wants to eventually start her own business, or she may decide that college is the better way ahead after doing this for awhile. Regardless, she's made this decision and we're trying to figure out how best to help her.
It may get a bit bumpy or even rocky, but it'll work out. It's good that she knows herself well enough to understand that she's not ready right now, and that she feels secure enough to let you guys know it ahead of time... instead of the middle of her third year!

It reminds me of all the 20-somethings shipmates who've told me that they knew they weren't ready for college when they were teens. A few years of service, though, brought forth a deep and burning commitment to their educational futures.

Better than going to school when you're not ready and partying for a few years on parental subsidies.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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How about going around to a few of the local businesses in the appropriate field and talking to the owner about what are the best schools?

A person wanting to be a legal secretary could learn a lot by visiting a law firm and talking to management about schooling. I certainly know what schools crank out the best students in my area and what ones are downright worthless. The same probably goes for cosmetology.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:08 AM   #4
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Our DD does wigs and makeup for theater (she now works in NY on Broadway). After getting her Masters degree in theater she decided to get a cosmetology license. She researched the schools in the No. Virginia area and settled on Heritage. She went to school during the day and worked in a local theater at night. She was able to obtain a federal grant/loan that covered most of the school costs. After a while she became disenchanted with the school. Most of her classmates were high school dropouts, some unmarried with several children. Her instructors were barely more educated than the students. She was initially told she would have to complete 1500 supervised hours. She later found out that in N.Y. only 1000 were required. She quit the school once she had the 1000 hours but still is paying the school $100 per month for the final year she did not attend. She moved to N.Y., got a job doing wigs and makeup on Spamalot on Broadway (the theaters are now closed due to the strike by stagehands ). She has signed up to take the NY licensing exam in January and once she gets the license she will be able to join the union and get better pay.

DD is old enough that we did not get involved with her school decisions. Based on what we saw and heard, the schools will tell prospective students almost anything to sign them up but not always all the information they should have. I would urge caution.

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Old 11-20-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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Arg, this is always a tough situation.

Both my sisters went through undergrad at UC schools and ended up in artsy-ish schools afterward.

But an 18 year old w/ just a high school degree? I would feel nervous - Is there any way you can encourage her to get her AA degree - at least in business or something while she interns at a salon to see what it is really like? that way she won't lose time if she does it and finds out she doesn't like it and she will have other usable skills - and if she wants to run her own business she needs skills beyond the cutting/primping or whatever.

My sis is a make up artist and researched the schools - there are a lot of CRAP schools for this type of thing - so definitely "follow the graduates" and see where they end up. Some are quite expensive. I think vidal sassoon is like $20k/year.

My sis's makeup school however, was very short and sweet - and was i believe, less than 6 months. But we are in southern Cali and have the benefit of a robust market for this type of work. If you are somewhere less "fabulous" - make sure she checks out the schools in the biggest city.

My sis also said that her younger classmates who did not go through college and regular jobs (she did HR for several years) were less responsible. And much of their work is responding to job announcements, showing up and making your own schedule - if you are reliable and resourceful you get more business. If you are sitting on your batooty waiting for something to "happen" for you - you get nada. My sis also has the luxury of health coverage from her hubby so that is not an expense for her as an individual contractor - ALSO - her taxes are painful since it's all consulting work and she has to track everything - would love to see an 18 year old do that one ...

also - have your DD really evaluate if this is the line of works she wants. It is very challenging pleasing so many people's individual tastes and she will be under a lot of stress with needy, picky, sensitive clients...
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
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All,
Thanks for the input. We had a talk with our daughter tonight, our first communication in over a month. She really didn't want to tell us that she'd decided not to continue in college, so now everything is on the table and we're hopeful we can move ahead. Much better.

Martha-- Yes, I think talking with a few managers of the major salons would help her highlight the programs that are producing grads that are in demand.

Grumpy, Bright Eyed--Thanks for the tips on the seamy underside of the schools. I'm checking into our community colleges to see if there's anything there she might be interested in--I'd feel that a ripoff is less likely. DD mentioned she might want to get a sub-accreditation (maybe to do fingernails, etc) so she can work in a salon while she's going to classes to get the larger cosmetology license. That sounds like a good course of action to me. The more she sees of it, the more she'll know whether this is what she wants to do.

Nords--yep, I'm glad she made the call relatively early. She's smart, the light will come on at some point.

This isn't the only thing going on in her life. While she's hopped off the academic train, I believe she's enrolled in the accelerated studies program in the school of hard knocks . As discussed in other recent threads, you can't live their lives for them. You love them, influence as you can, and try to keep the lines of communication open.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:53 AM   #7
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What Martha said about talking with local salon owners and other sylists and check out the state licensing board to see what they require.

We have two such schools in town, one is associated with a high-style name product. Friends have gotten cuts/perms there are the reduced student fee and look great so they must be doing something right. Don't know about cost though.
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my 2 cents
Old 11-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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my 2 cents

I believe like most trade profession, plumber, electrician, beautician, hygienist, hair dresser or even some white collar job like engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers... It is that what you do with the money that you earn is more important than what you do for a living. If your DD loves what she does and good at it then she will be fine. Where I work, some of the technician here is better off than most engineers, just because they are more careful with their money and invest wisely. My sis is a multi-millionaire beautician but she did paid for it by working long hours and take risk in investing. I am a little worse off than her financially but I have a 9-5 desk job and free weekend plus holidays and sick days and vacation days.

Personally, I think it is much much easier to go school get a 2 to 4 yr degree and get a job like everyone else. If your DD really ambition she can always open her own shop some day... talk to her gently. good luck.

enuff
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:50 AM   #9
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. She's smart, the light will come on at some point.
Samclem - good for you! this is one of those parenting moments where we all hope we behave and LISTEN and gather all our patience for our kids.

As long as she knows you have this much faith in her - she will be just fine...let us know how it goes!
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:49 AM   #10
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The local community colleges have courses on owning a business; maybe there are similar ones near you. They are usually taught by current and former business owners and could help her get an idea of the responsibilities and work required.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #11
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While she's hopped off the academic train, I believe she's enrolled in the accelerated studies program in the school of hard knocks . As discussed in other recent threads, you can't live their lives for them. You love them, influence as you can, and try to keep the lines of communication open.
Yeah, but just to be sure you might want to keep her away from the military recruiting centers for a few months... in case those immediate-enlistment bonuses get a little out of hand...
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