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I am currently in a cosmetology program and i will be graduating within the next couple of months. Once i graduate i plan on finishing up my AA degree and then moving on to complete a bachelors degree. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to which bachelor degree may compliment my cosmetology licensing? I have considered business management with hospitality concentration, but i am curious to see if there are any other degrees that would compliment cosmetology better?

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Kellee’s Answer

Hi Jasmyn! Thank you for a good question.

I personally think you're on the right track with business and hospitality. I learned that many cosmetologist work as independent contractors or for a particular cosmetic brand. Considering the work opportunities at retail stores, hotel spas, photography studios, and more, learning business fundamentals and understanding the hospitality industry would be a leg up on the competition. If you decide to be independent, you'll need to think like a small business owner and learn how to mange your contracts, taxes, liabilities, and all the other lovely things that go owning your own shop. This also includes learning about technology to track your operations, manage client data, manage invoicing and payments, etc.

I would suggest you consider taking a class at some point that speaks to the "psychology or culture of beauty" if offered by your college. If not, an intro psychology course may have some value for you. When you understand your client's motivation at a deep level, you can enhance your service to them. What if you get a chance to work with cancer patients, or patients with facial abnormalities? What you'll do for them will have an impact at a much deeper level than outward beauty. It'll be like the hairdresser who becomes more of a confidant to their clients because they listen and understand their lives.

I wish you all the best Jasmyn. :-)


Kellee recommends the following next steps:

Research schools with hospitality and business undergraduate programs. I would suggest not to settle for an Economics major if there is no undergraduate business program. Go for the business degree.
Talk to cosmetologists in your area. Strike up a conversation and ask why they choose the industry, and what has it been like for them in terms of opportunity and growth.
Visualize the possibility of employment with a major cosmetic line (Fenty, L'Oreal, TooFaced,...) helping them create and/or market the latest make-up and facial-care. It's a good way to learn how the "big fish" do things before you venture out on your own. Looks nice on a resume too!

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LouAnna’s Answer

You might look into your AA degree and make sure that it will work when you move onto your Bachelor's degree. I worked with Business Bachelor students, and we didn't take hardly any of the Associate of Applied Science courses, but took almost every single one of the Associate of Science courses in Business Admin. I always advise students to take classes that they can't learn on their own. I can learn how to work social media on my own, but I can't/don't want to try to learn marketing strategies and research on my own. There you'd find out buyer behaviors, how to find out your share of the market and how to get more of the share of the beauty hospitality market, as well as learning a bit about finance, accounting, HR, so you can run your own business. The good business schools give each student the tools they need to be their own boss, if they work hard to learn all they can. I just want you to make sure you take classes that give you a good return on your investment of time, money, and brain space! I'd also look at Business Certificates or Minors if you decide to major in Hospitality. Certificates often don't have to be tied to a major, so you wouldn't have to get a Bachelor's degree...you could get your associates degree, and then get a certificate, if you wanted. You might also reach out to successful people that you aspire to be like and ask what they did. Good luck!

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Cheryl’s Answer

Most Cosmetology programs provide a small amount of information on marketing and business structure to add to the success of longevity in this career field. No matter if working for a business or pursuing Entrepreneurship is the goal a bachelor's degree will be the best choice. A concentration in Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, or Management would work just fine. Also if there are any micro-concentrations that fall into play with the main concentration choice, it will be a great addition. Best of luck in elevating your career.

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Jackie’s Answer

Hi Jasmyn,

i agree business is a good major. There is also entrepreneurship as a concentration in some schools. You’ll want to learn how to use social media for free advertising of your business also. There are lots of options on how to gain this knowledge on the internet and in social media courses.