(StatePoint) Picking a career path in which to wisely invest your education dollars can be tricky, especially if you don't want to graduate with a pile of debt and no job offer. But there's one profession to consider that can't be outsourced or replaced: beauty and wellness.
While many industries are experiencing job losses and cuts to wages, the U.S. Labor Department reports that personal care and service occupations are growing. The department's 2010 10-year projection anticipated the industry to grow by 27 percent, adding more than 1.3 million jobs.
"Beauty careers change lives and make people feel good about themselves inside and out," explains Lynelle Lynch, President of Bellus Academy, an elite beauty and cosmetology school in San Diego that offers award-winning career training and multiple license programs. "A bad economy doesn't eliminate that basic need."
Whether you plan to become a hair stylist, nail technician, esthetician, massage therapist or owner of a spa or salon, a high-quality education can prepare you for a premium career in a thriving industry.
"Look for a beauty school that positions graduates with the latest protocols, marketing, financial literacy and goal-setting skills necessary to be leaders," says Lynch, whose elevated academic approach has redefined academia for modern beauty students. Bellus Academy has received 13 of the industry's top awards since 2008 for educational excellence.
If you're looking to break into the beauty industry, here are some career tips to consider:
o It takes more than technical training to be successful. Take advantage of courses your program offers that develop business, personal and marketing skills
o Leave your program with real world experience. Schools such as Bellus partner with top salons and spas to place students in elite externships or work with industry icons at special events. This is an opportunity to network and gain insight into the professional industry.
o Get a great return on your educational investment by opting for a school with career services. For example, Bellus Academy offers résumé assistance and job interview preparation to students and alumni and updates its job listings weekly. The school also prepares students to pass exams for licensure or international certification.
o Financing your training doesn't have to break the bank. Like degree programs in medicine or law, there are opportunities like scholarships through the "Beauty Changes Lives" program and students can meet with financial aid professionals to review what aid they qualify for.
o A beauty career is flexible and travels well. Consider gaining an international certificate to take your skills abroad.
More information about the advantages of a beauty education can be found at www.BellusAcademy.edu.
"With traditional career paths losing some of their luster during the downturn, beauty has become especially attractive, offering flexibility and a human connection," says Steve Reiss, Vice President of Modern Salon Media.
If beauty is your passion, you're in luck. The industry attracts caring, entrepreneurial individuals with a mission to make a difference through beauty and wellness. Even in uncertain economic times, it's an industry that's proven to thrive and grow.