In the bleak landscape that is today’s career market, one industry has proven to be entirely resistant. Due in large part to the significant job-loss and substantially decreased employment opportunities across the country, more students are seeking the opportunity to pursue cosmetology – something they always dreamed of, but never thought of it as a practical career option, until now.
According to Empire Beauty Schools, the nation’s largest provider of cosmetology education, it has seen a boom in enrollment from June 2007 to May 2009– an average of 33 percent across 88 schools.
According the Frank Schoeneman, chief executive of Empire, at least half of Empire’s students have attended college but left because they felt it would not prepare them for today’s job market while other students have turned to cosmetology as a second career choice, looking for the creativity they have always yearned for along with the stability that the job offers.
Angela O’Brien, an Empire Beauty School student based out of Indianapolis was laid off last year from her job as an operations director at a large trucking company. With two small children, O’Brien wanted to move into a position that offered long term security. “It’s the most optimum choice for me, though the beauty industry has been slightly affected by the downturn, it didn’t devastate it,” claims O’Brien. “Everyone has to get their hair cut – they may spend less, but they still need to get it cut.”
Another perk that has drawn thousands of students to Empire to pursue careers as hairstylists, colorists, estheticians, nail technicians or makeup artists is the flexibility the job provides. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 percent of cosmetologists are self-employed – something that also drew O’Brien to the field, as she was on call 24 hours a day at her previous job. “I don’t want to feel guilty anymore when I go to a school play or take a family vacation,” she says.
Whether it’s opening a salon, becoming a spa director at a resort, or doing makeup for runways, photo shoots, or local brides, there are many paths to choose within the field of cosmetology, none of which involve sitting behind a desk. To learn more, visit www.empire.edu. (blue sky pr)