How Cosmetology and Beauty Schools Differ From Four-Year Colleges

How Cosmetology and Beauty Schools Differ From Four-Year Colleges

You love to play with hairstyles, nail polish, and makeup but are torn between attending a cosmetology or beauty school and going to college. Your future depends on your final decision so you are considering the following points before making your choice:


Some colleges can be very difficult to get admitted to. Application fees are required, transcripts are heavily reviewed, and the admission process can be long and arduous. Beauty and cosmetology schools often require few requirements to be admitted and enrolled.


There is some bookwork involved in these types of classes but most of the instruction is hands-on. This gives students a real taste of what working in this industry is all about. Yes, there are tests and quizzes but even some of them are based on the actual cutting of hair and application of makeup or nail polish. Toward the end of your instruction, you will be working on real volunteers and sometimes even on paying customers as you fine-tune your skills.

Time Factor

It takes far less time to get a cosmetology or hair dresser certification than it does to go to college. Not only that, you actually get to practice your skills at school before you graduate, something that is very difficult to do with most college courses. For many beauty and cosmetology certificates, instruction and testing lasts less than one year and rarely more than two.


Beauty schools cost far less than colleges and universities. They often offer their own unique financing opportunities that are geared to what your salary will be once you begin working in this field. The cost of books are often minimal and are not nearly as pricy as college textbooks. Combined with the previous fact that a student just isn’t in school that long will offer real education savings to the applicable student.


The variety of jobs that an individual can choose from is endless. Beauticians and cosmeticians are needed at retirement centers, malls, funeral homes, free standing stores, film production companies, and more. The type of work that can be done is also virtually unlimited. Positions such as hair stylists, makeup artists, nail art specialists, and private consultants are just a few of the options open to individuals with the right type of training and work attitude.

Job Availability

The demand for employees in the beauty industry is virtually unlimited. There will always be a need for hair dressers, manicurists, skin specialists and cosmetologists. It is also fairly easy to open your own business or even rent a booth or chair space in a privately owned building or business. As you acquire new skills and confidence, your pay and your tips will increase accordingly.

Your decision should be based on what you want your future to be. If you love making people more attractive and confident and don’t want to attend school for the next four years or more, college may not be the very best route for you. If classes bore you and you seek a fast-paced and challenging environment, this could be just the right option for you to follow up on.