Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

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KBREAMK
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Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by KBREAMK »

My oldest daughter, a junior in high school, is interested in Cosmetology School. She has repeatably said how traditional college just doesn't excite her.

She does fine in school (As and Bs) but just doesn't enjoy school. She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.

If she goes the traditional college approach our plan was for her to do her first two years at the local community college (she already takes some dual credit classes) before transferring to a local state school for her last two years. This would likely keep her out of serious debt since we have $42,000 for her in a 529 and would likely be able to cover any additional cost the 529 doesn't cover.

Her mother and I both have college degrees and I am still a believer in traditional higher education so I am torn on how to best advise her.

Any advice or other things to consider are very much appreciated.
oldfatguy
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by oldfatguy »

I don't think there is anything wrong with her pursuing cosmetology, instead of going to college, as long as she fully understands the nature of the work, income level, etc.

I work with (4 year) college students everyday who would be much happier and much better off in technical/vocational school.

Has she explored any middle ground? There are lots of healthcare jobs, for example, that only require an associate's degree, but pay a lot more than cosmetology.
123
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by 123 »

I went to high school with a lot of students who didn't come across as college material. Many went to technical/vocational schools and have successful careers. Some of them subsequently went back later for regular college degrees (BS/MS/Phd). There is no way to know for certain what the academic future of anyone will be. People grow (in lots of ways) at different paces. Many of those who went to college later turned out to be more successful than those who went to college right after high school.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Nothing wrong with the plan for 2 years CC and then finish at a state school. My younger son is in his freshman year of CC with that exact plan.

On the cosmetology side.....I'd recommend she go to a place who employs someone with that kind of degree and buy them lunch. A few simple questions. Do you like it? What's your day like? How much do you make? I'd expect that she may find some surprises. Would she be considered an independent contractor and when nobody comes in, she doesn't get paid? When she is paid, would her friend working at McDonalds out earn her? I get that people say to do what you love. But sometimes that has to be a hobby.
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ohai
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by ohai »

This is my view:

If you are affluent enough that college cost won't matter in the long run, just go to college as a safety net. Teenagers have no clue what they want to do for the next 60 years of life. Let's say the gets bored and disillusioned with doing cosmetics (99% chance at some point)... with no college degree, she will have no options. It's worth four years of your life out of 80+ years to build the option to change path.

If you are poor and $100k college cost will cause you severe hardship later (usually not the case for people on this forum), then maybe consider skipping college.

I have to say... one of the best benefits of college degree, and especially prestigious degrees, is that you can change careers multiple times easily. Up to age early 30s, my peers seem to be switching randomly to become doctor, lawyer, writer, programmer... whatever... They are taken seriously and have access to further education mostly because of where we went to school earlier.
zimmer0
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by zimmer0 »

DW went the cosmetology school route. After moving to the DFW area her career exploded - over double earnings coming from small town LA. The industry also gives her flexibility in work schedule to work part time while still earning a respectable income while staying at home with our 6mo old 3 days/wk - although this aspect is strictly dependent on the employer you work for or for yourself.
The 42k you have saved will more than cover a 1-2yr cosmetology school.
Location is key in this industry as well as getting into a well established salon/spa in our experience.

Anticipate 1-2yrs to build clientele.
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F150HD
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by F150HD »

Many other routes too.
Last edited by F150HD on Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KBREAMK
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by KBREAMK »

zimmer0 wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:12 pm DW went the cosmetology school route. After moving to the DFW area her career exploded - over double earnings coming from small town LA. The industry also gives her flexibility in work schedule to work part time while still earning a respectable income while staying at home with our 6mo old 3 days/wk - although this aspect is strictly dependent on the employer you work for or for yourself.
The 42k you have saved will more than cover a 1-2yr cosmetology school.
Location is key in this industry as well as getting into a well established salon/spa in our experience.

Anticipate 1-2yrs to build clientele.
We actually live in the DFW area (Keller, TX to be precise). I wonder if your daughter would be open to speaking with my daughter? If so, perhaps we could discuss in a private message.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by greg24 »

F150HD wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:21 pm IRT cosmetology, maybe a parallel route.....has she ever looked into dermatology? If you've ever tried to get an appointment w a dermatologist you'd know how in demand they are. Skin is our largest organ after all. :thumbsup
Her reason for not going to college is that she doesn't like school. Now you want her to go to both undergrad AND med school?
zimmer0
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by zimmer0 »

KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:26 pm
zimmer0 wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:12 pm DW went the cosmetology school route. After moving to the DFW area her career exploded - over double earnings coming from small town LA. The industry also gives her flexibility in work schedule to work part time while still earning a respectable income while staying at home with our 6mo old 3 days/wk - although this aspect is strictly dependent on the employer you work for or for yourself.
The 42k you have saved will more than cover a 1-2yr cosmetology school.
Location is key in this industry as well as getting into a well established salon/spa in our experience.

Anticipate 1-2yrs to build clientele.
We actually live in the DFW area (Keller, TX to be precise). I wonder if your daughter would be open to speaking with my daughter? If so, perhaps we could discuss in a private message.
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F150HD
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by F150HD »

shes interested in cosmo school
Last edited by F150HD on Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
RobLyons
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by RobLyons »

DW always wanted to go to cosmo school. Our high school offered free cosmo education. High school guidance counselor refused to sign off on cosmo, told her she was too smart to be a hair dresser, she should be a nurse.. or go to college for something, or anything else.

Years later she ended up with $30k in student debt from her biology major. She then pursued cosmo at a local specialty school, (another $20k out of pocket). This education would have been free through the high school by the way.

She taught high school biology for a couple years and ran her own hair salon. Teaching thing didn't work out. She never wanted to be a scientist, work in a lab, etc. She now works just 2 days a week renting a chair in a another hair salon, making excellent pay all while being a mostly stay at home mom.

I would encourage my kids to pursue their passion, talents, all while giving them insight as to the career working conditions, pay, benefits, etc.

DW would've been much better off doing cosmo in high school and going from there without the debt.


Many of our classmates went to traditional college because that was the thing to do. Get an education. It socked us with debt.
Encourage her to follow her passion. Good luck
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michaeljc70
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by michaeljc70 »

I have two family members with cosmetology certifications so I have some observations. The barriers to entry are fairly low. I would equate it to being a realtor. A few do really well and most make not very much and/or do it part time (dabble). One family member works at a high end salon in a ritzy area doing hair color. She had to basically intern/train for two years before making any real money. There was no guarantee she would even get a permanent job. She does pretty well- almost 6 figures in MCOL city. The other has worked in numerous salons cutting hair and switched to bartending where they make more money.

Of course, if she has no interest in college, that seems like it could be a big waste of money.
sawhorse
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by sawhorse »

College isn't the right choice for everyone. In fact, I think too many people go to college these days when other options would be more suited for them.

If she goes the cosmetology route, I highly suggest trying to find a community college that offers the curriculum rather than a private college, most of which are for-profit.
gac1979
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by gac1979 »

Perhaps she knows exactly what she wants as HS junior, but why not encourage her to take a year after high school and travel/volunteer/work part time? Maybe she will change her mind, maybe she won’t. But either way, she will have a year of the “real” world under her belt before making a decision.

As someone who went straight to college and then immediately to law school, I wish I had done the same.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 pm My oldest daughter, a junior in high school, is interested in Cosmetology School. She has repeatably said how traditional college just doesn't excite her.

She does fine in school (As and Bs) but just doesn't enjoy school. She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.

If she goes the traditional college approach our plan was for her to do her first two years at the local community college (she already takes some dual credit classes) before transferring to a local state school for her last two years. This would likely keep her out of serious debt since we have $42,000 for her in a 529 and would likely be able to cover any additional cost the 529 doesn't cover.

Her mother and I both have college degrees and I am still a believer in traditional higher education so I am torn on how to best advise her.

Any advice or other things to consider are very much appreciated.
Your daughter has told you many times she is not interested in traditional college. She absolutely should pursue Cosmetology School. If you wish, you can pay for it using your 529. It will cost much less than a 4-year degree and she will have better earnings potential than most college graduates. She will be doing something she enjoys. You won't get to put a Harvard bumper sticker on your car but your daughter will be happier.

Your daughter has very sensible ideas about debt and her desire to become a stay at home mother is admirable. If you continue to ignore her wishes and press her to get a 4-year degree, you will be doing a tremendous disservice to her. I hope my son marries a woman with your daughter's views about the world.
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lightheir
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by lightheir »

F150HD wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:21 pm IRT cosmetology, maybe a parallel route.....has she ever looked into dermatology? If you've ever tried to get an appointment w a dermatologist you'd know how in demand they are. Skin is our largest organ after all. :thumbsup
Hah - if you only knew how competitive it was to get into derm. You think med school is competitive to get into? (Yes it is.) Try x10 for derm - it is literally the most competitive of all of the medical specialities in most surveys and has very few spots.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

Here is a hard truth: Most Bogleheads have no clue about the jobs that are available to young people. They remember their own experiences at college and think the world is pretty much the same today. It isn't. Many college graduates have no useful skills. Many go on to get Master's degrees or PhDs or law degrees and they still can't get good jobs. They can't get into medical school or even PA school. So they are applying for retail jobs at places like Costco and Starbucks. It is actually pretty hard to get a job at Costco or Starbucks, so most have to settle for a minimum wage job at Target, Walmart or McDonald's.

By strong contrast, someone with a good Associates' degree (e.g. nurse, dental hygienist) has way better career prospects than the typical college grad. Similarly, anyone in a skilled blue collar occupation (welder, commercial diver, electrician, plumber, boilermaker, elevator installer, diesel mechanic) is going to be do just fine. These are jobs that for the most part can't be outsourced and can't be automated. All of these jobs are hard work. Young people had better get used to the idea of doing hard, dirty work.

Cosmetology and related occupations are also excellent choices. Those with specialized skills such as eyebrow microblading can do especially well. Medical aesthetician (perhaps combining a nursing degree with an aesthetician license) is another good choice.

Avoiding debt is a great idea. Too many young people -- prodded by their clueless parents -- spend tens of thousands of dollars getting useless degrees, then complain that they want their debt to be erased.

Finally, any woman who wants to be a stay at home mother should be commended. That is the most important job in the world. Unfortunately, it is increasingly difficult for families to survive on one income. It can be done, however, and I wish more people would do so.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

lightheir wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:32 am
F150HD wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:21 pm IRT cosmetology, maybe a parallel route.....has she ever looked into dermatology? If you've ever tried to get an appointment w a dermatologist you'd know how in demand they are. Skin is our largest organ after all. :thumbsup
Hah - if you only knew how competitive it was to get into derm. You think med school is competitive to get into? (Yes it is.) Try x10 for derm - it is literally the most competitive of all of the medical specialities in most surveys and has very few spots.
The person who suggested dermatology is clueless. It's a super competitive field that requires years and years of expensive schooling. The OP's daughter isn't interested in spending years in school. She wants to go to Cosmetology school and she wisely wants to avoid debt.
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student
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by student »

Speaking as someone working in academia, not everyone should go to college, vocational school/trade school is fine if this is where one's passion lies. It seems that you have already started researching job prospect with the cosmetology school route, which is good. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by RobLyons »

student wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:49 am Speaking as someone working in academia, not everyone should go to college, vocational school/trade school is fine if this is where one's passion lies. It seems that you have already started researching job prospect with the cosmetology school route, which is good. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

x 2

Often times these careers are looked down upon by others with advanced degrees, believing there's no money to be made, however some of our most successful friends are in trades. My contractor could buy 10 of my houses in cash right now and he's not even 40..
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by winterfan »

I have a daughter who does well in school. If she wanted to go to cosmetology school instead of college, I would be fine with it. I know someone who made a pretty good living styling hair. She made more than a lot of college grads with office jobs. She has little kids now and cuts hair part time. It's a great gig for her because she can work around her kids' schedules and still bring in some income.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Spirit Rider »

I think an alternate anecdotal experience to those stories presented is necessary. Cosmetology school and associated career is not all wine and roses. The OP's daughter sounds just like my niece. She was a solid As and Bs student who did not want to go to college even though her father was obligated to pay half in the divorce.

She went to cosmetology school and her dreams met the reality of the industry. Even though employees in the field are tip workers they are not one of the categories allowed to be paid the reduced minimum wage. They must be paid the full minimum wage under the FLSA.

However, there are rampant wage violations in the industry. The employer can claim tip credit against the minimum wage, only if the employee spends minimal time on things such a sweeping floors, customer service, etc...

An entry level cosmetologist is not going to start out with clients and renting a station. They are going to start out being a gopher and will only service clients if there is too much walk-in traffic for the booth renters.

The first salon my niece worked at didn't even pay minimum wage and she was expected to spend the majority of time cleaning up after the booth renters. She quit and went to a salon that she heard actually paid minimum wage. Even then they illegally applied tip credit when she was still entry level.

She did not have the personality to confront either Salon owner about their illegal policies, not could I convince her to file a complaint with the state DOL.

I convinced her to enroll in the local community college and offered to pay the half her father didn't pay. She graduated with honors and transferred to a state university where she funded her half with pay from a national barber chain and student loans.

She is now a happy mother of three who is a part-time town librarian. So all's well that ends well. I just want to caution that cosmetology is not a panacea to the lack of desire to go to college.

The bottom line. The way the cosmetology business is structured. Only booth renters or salon owners will make any reasonable income. If the OP's daughter wants to be successful. She needs to understand that a strong personality and self-promotion are necessary. The name of the game is attracting and keeping clients.

P.S. After my niece graduated from CC. She heard from friends that someone had filed an anonymous complaint with the state DOL against the two salons. The state DOL audited the two salons and found significant wage violations. While it was too late for her, the salons were fined and ordered to pay back wages with interest for current and recent employees within the previous year.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

Spirit Rider wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:16 am I think an alternate anecdotal experience to those stories presented is necessary. Cosmetology school and associated career is not all wine and roses. The OP's daughter sounds just like my niece. She was a solid As and Bs student who did not want to go to college even though her father was obligated to pay half in the divorce.

She went to cosmetology school and her dreams met the reality of the industry. Even though employees in the field are tip workers they are not one of the categories allowed to be paid the reduced minimum wage. They must be paid the full minimum wage under the FLSA.

However, there are rampant wage violations in the industry. The employer can claim tip credit against the minimum wage, only if the employee spends minimal time on things such a sweeping floors, customer service, etc...

An entry level cosmetologist is not going to start out with clients and renting a station. They are going to start out being a gopher and will only service clients if there is too much walk-in traffic for the booth renters.

The first salon my niece worked at didn't even pay minimum wage and she was expected to spend the majority of time cleaning up after the booth renters. She quit and went to a salon that she heard actually paid minimum wage. Even then they illegally applied tip credit when she was still entry level.

She did not have the personality to confront either Salon owner about their illegal policies, not could I convince her to file a complaint with the state DOL.

I convinced her to enroll in the local community college and offered to pay the half her father didn't pay. She graduated with honors and transferred to a state university where she funded her half with pay from a national barber chain and student loans.

She is now a happy mother of three who is a part-time town librarian. So all's well that ends well. I just want to caution that cosmetology is not a panacea to the lack of desire to go to college.

The bottom line. The way the cosmetology business is structured. Only booth renters or salon owners will make any reasonable income. If the OP's daughter wants to be successful. She needs to understand that a strong personality and self-promotion are necessary. The name of the game is attracting and keeping clients.

P.S. After my niece graduated from CC. She heard from friends that someone had filed an anonymous complaint with the state DOL against the two salons. The state DOL audited the two salons and found significant wage violations. While it was too late for her, the salons were fined and ordered to pay back wages with interest for current and recent employees within the previous year.
Thank you for your perspective. I agree with you 100% that customer service skills are of great importance in this field. I am glad that everything worked out for your niece and that she was able to put herself though state university in part by working as a barber for a national chain. On Indeed.com, there are currently about three dozen job listings in my mid-sized city for barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists. Many of these listings are from well-known chains such as SuperCuts and Sports Clips that probably comply with minimum wage laws. I stand by my assertion above that people with a cosmetology license are better positioned to get a decent job, on average, than those with a four-year college degree. "On average" means just that -- on average. Obviously, not every cosmetologist is going to get a great job and not every sociology or philosophy BA is going to get a crappy job.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by michaeljc70 »

fredflinstone wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:36 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:16 am I think an alternate anecdotal experience to those stories presented is necessary. Cosmetology school and associated career is not all wine and roses. The OP's daughter sounds just like my niece. She was a solid As and Bs student who did not want to go to college even though her father was obligated to pay half in the divorce.

She went to cosmetology school and her dreams met the reality of the industry. Even though employees in the field are tip workers they are not one of the categories allowed to be paid the reduced minimum wage. They must be paid the full minimum wage under the FLSA.

However, there are rampant wage violations in the industry. The employer can claim tip credit against the minimum wage, only if the employee spends minimal time on things such a sweeping floors, customer service, etc...

An entry level cosmetologist is not going to start out with clients and renting a station. They are going to start out being a gopher and will only service clients if there is too much walk-in traffic for the booth renters.

The first salon my niece worked at didn't even pay minimum wage and she was expected to spend the majority of time cleaning up after the booth renters. She quit and went to a salon that she heard actually paid minimum wage. Even then they illegally applied tip credit when she was still entry level.

She did not have the personality to confront either Salon owner about their illegal policies, not could I convince her to file a complaint with the state DOL.

I convinced her to enroll in the local community college and offered to pay the half her father didn't pay. She graduated with honors and transferred to a state university where she funded her half with pay from a national barber chain and student loans.

She is now a happy mother of three who is a part-time town librarian. So all's well that ends well. I just want to caution that cosmetology is not a panacea to the lack of desire to go to college.

The bottom line. The way the cosmetology business is structured. Only booth renters or salon owners will make any reasonable income. If the OP's daughter wants to be successful. She needs to understand that a strong personality and self-promotion are necessary. The name of the game is attracting and keeping clients.

P.S. After my niece graduated from CC. She heard from friends that someone had filed an anonymous complaint with the state DOL against the two salons. The state DOL audited the two salons and found significant wage violations. While it was too late for her, the salons were fined and ordered to pay back wages with interest for current and recent employees within the previous year.
Thank you for your perspective. I agree with you 100% that customer service skills are of great importance in this field. I am glad that everything worked out for your niece and that she was able to put herself though state university in part by working as a barber for a national chain. On Indeed.com, there are currently about three dozen job listings in my mid-sized city for barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists. Many of these listings are from well-known chains such as SuperCuts and Sports Clips that probably comply with minimum wage laws. I stand by my assertion above that people with a cosmetology license are better positioned to get a decent job, on average, than those with a four-year college degree. "On average" means just that -- on average. Obviously, not every cosmetologist is going to get a great job and not every sociology or philosophy BA is going to get a crappy job.
I don't think the data will back you up. Of course there are 4 year degrees that aren't that marketable. There are places in the big city where I live where you can get a haircut for $5. How much do you think those people are making? The upside for a marketable college degree is much higher, but since the OP's daughter isn't interested that is moot to this topic.

I also don't get the whole discussion on paying less than minimum wage either. Why would you go to cosmetology school to make minimum wage let alone less than minimum wage?
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Pigeon »

A good overview of the cosmetology field can be found here, including average pay, job outlook, etc. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-a ... ogists.htm

I think the OP's child should not be pressured to attend college at this point in her life. She isn't interested and she isn't ready. However I also think there's an unrealistic discussion of what the typical prospects in this field are like. Most of the jobs these days are at places like Supercuts, where an employee isn't going to make a good wage.

It's like the discussions about plumbers. Yes, it's a solid alternative for many. Yes, a small percentage of people who are also great business people can own their own shops and do very well. But the anecdotes about your third cousin who makes high 6 figures doesn't reflect the reality that most plumbers don't make nearly that.
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F150HD
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by F150HD »

fredflinstone wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:41 am Here is a hard truth: Most Bogleheads have no clue about the jobs that are available to young people.
You're making large broad generalizations about multitudes of people on this board and this comes across very condescending. Not to mention this just is not true.

And I'm not clueless by the way- that was a really condescending comment as well if not a passive aggressive personal attack.

Personally knew and have seen 'cosmo' grads find dead end roads in their career. Many of them live back home and went nowhere, nor using their cosmo degree/certificate.
But if thats the OPs kids choice, fine. maybe she'll find that % niche and have good income from it- great.
An A/B kid (in my opinion) should have some higher aspirations. Nothing wrong w/ cosmo but she's young enough to take a more challenging road "now" so she doesn't have to loop back in life at 40+ and do it, like many had to do in 2008. Or like this gentleman. Much harder to do later in life vs now, that was my angle.

Good luck OP.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

F150HD wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:10 am
fredflinstone wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:41 am Here is a hard truth: Most Bogleheads have no clue about the jobs that are available to young people.
You're making large broad generalizations about multitudes of people on this board and this comes across very condescending. Not to mention this just is not true.

And I'm not clueless by the way- that was a really condescending comment as well if not a passive aggressive personal attack.

Personally knew and have seen 'cosmo' grads find dead end roads in their career. Many of them live back home and went nowhere, nor using their cosmo degree/certificate.
But if thats the OPs kids choice, fine. maybe she'll find that % niche and have good income from it- great.
An A/B kid (in my opinion) should have some higher aspirations. Nothing wrong w/ cosmo but she's young enough to take a more challenging road "now" so she doesn't have to loop back in life at 40+ and do it, like many had to do in 2008. Or like this gentleman. Much harder to do later in life vs now, that was my angle.

Good luck OP.
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dm200
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by dm200 »

KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 pm My oldest daughter, a junior in high school, is interested in Cosmetology School. She has repeatably said how traditional college just doesn't excite her.
She does fine in school (As and Bs) but just doesn't enjoy school. She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.
If she goes the traditional college approach our plan was for her to do her first two years at the local community college (she already takes some dual credit classes) before transferring to a local state school for her last two years. This would likely keep her out of serious debt since we have $42,000 for her in a 529 and would likely be able to cover any additional cost the 529 doesn't cover.
Her mother and I both have college degrees and I am still a believer in traditional higher education so I am torn on how to best advise her.
Any advice or other things to consider are very much appreciated.
It seems to me the focus should be on career rather end education. Does she understand what a career in Cosmetology entails? I have seen some young folks get an education specific to one type of career, and then be totally unwilling or unable to be in that career. I know one young woman who got a college degree in law enforcement, but then, after getting the degree, did not want to do the required things - like carrying a gun!
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Leemiller »

I would not encourage my daughter to rely upon becoming a stay at home mother as a career path. That is a pretty antiquated world view. I’d also note that college educated men are much more likely to marry college educated women. Most of the people I know have advanced degrees, and I don’t think any of them have a spouse that didn’t get a college education. Also, I think a four year college would likely be a better choice for your daughter so she can get a sense of community that just isn’t as present in a community college (I attended one myself).

Perhaps also sitting down and discussing real world costs would be a good move, pay data for various professions, as well as divorce rates, which are higher among non-college educated partners. Does your wife stay at home? Seems odd to have two college educated parents, and she’s so opposed to attending even for the value of the education itself.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by kjvmartin »

Hair may be a good choice, but I will give some advice:

My cousin and I are the same age (mid 30s), but from different sides of the tracks growing up. Her family is affluent and mine struggled. Neither of us are "school people." She had the option to do whatever while I was prodded off to college with no direction in mind.

She went to cosmetology school. Always fashionable and a sharp looking woman, it seemed like a reasonable choice. About 7-8 years into it and the damage to her body really started to add up. It's a lot of time on your feet and working with your hands. There has been some damage, carpal tunnel and back issues. She seems almost like a professional athlete, her body has been used up by her job by her mid 30s. This may effect everyone differently, but I will always remember how her hands were getting twisted a bit.

She went and got her RN license a few years ago. Now, I think she wishes she had those years back toward her career in nursing. I think she is making more money now as well.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by HomeStretch »

KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 pm She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.
Sounds like your daughter has given some thought to her future path. Hopefully, she understands it’s important for any person to have enough schooling/training to be able to independently support themselves (and their families). A one-income family’s finances can be negatively affected by health issues, unemployment, special needs children, parents that need support, etc. People get divorced or breadwinning spouse dies and the person find themself back in the workforce perhaps at low-paying jobs due to lack of recent work experience.

Best of luck to your daughter with whichever path she chooses.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Watty »

I don't know anything about cosmetology schools but I would agree with the prior comment to be cautious about private for profit schools. Many of the private trade schools do not have a good track record.

She may have also picked cosmetology because that is the only non-college type of job she really knows of. It would be good for her to also get more exposure to other types of trades.

Some jobs like dental hygienist would pay a lot better on average and many of them work part time. I am not sure but I think that that is only a two year associate's degree which might not be that much longer than cosmetology training. I would think that with her grades she might be capable of that.

One potential problem with her plan to work as a hairdresser as a part time job while she is a stay at home mom is that it might require a lot of work in the evenings and weekends which could interfere with being a stay at home mom. This would be because many of the women who can pay the big bucks for hairdressers are working during the week.

I am a retired guy and I just get my haircut at a hairstyling chain but during the weekdays I can usually just walk in and more often than not I will be the only customer unless there is maybe a kid getting a haircut. They are busier when schools are out so she may not have seen how slow they can be during weekdays.

It would be good if she could also get a part time job in some sort of hair salon while she is in high school. Some large nursing home have in house beauty salons and they might need a helper.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Sandtrap »

1. Rather than plans "for her". . . help her strategize her own plans for her life.

2. Cosmetology school can be tried (doesn't take long) and if it doesn't work out, then try other paths.

3. Cosmetology school can be a doorway to higher levels in that field. (Think Vidal Sassoon training in England) then eventually own a chain of high end hair salons and financial independence far earlier with substantial wealth before many college graduates.
Anything is possible.

4. Following one's own passions and one's own dreams is the stuff of "life".

One example: son's, sister in law, graduated law school with honors, practiced for years, switched to education, now teaches grade school, loves the children, happy as a lamb, no regrets. (there are so many paths in life for one to find for oneself).

j :happy
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by F150HD »

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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by TN_Boy »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:34 am
KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 pm She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.
Sounds like your daughter has given some thought to her future path. Hopefully, she understands it’s important for any person to have enough schooling/training to be able to independently support themselves (and their families). A one-income family’s finances can be negatively affected by health issues, unemployment, special needs children, parents that need support, etc. People get divorced or breadwinning spouse dies and the person find themselves back in the workforce perhaps at low-paying jobs due to lack of recent work experience.

Best of luck to your daughter with whichever path she chooses.
Yes, I thought the key information in the OP was the daughter's desire to be a SAHM. So she may not have any interest in a "career" at all. Just anything to pay the bills until marriage.

Were I the parents, I'd point out to her that if she doesn't find Mr Right until she is in her 30s, she may have many years where she is supporting herself; what kind of lifestyle does she want before then? Plus the points HomeStretch makes; even if she marries soon, be nice to have good financial options.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Katietsu »

F150HD wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:21 pm IRT cosmetology, maybe a parallel route.....has she ever looked into dermatology? If you've ever tried to get an appointment w a dermatologist you'd know how in demand they are. Skin is our largest organ after all. :thumbsup
Nice thought but besides the 12 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to become a dermatologist, dermatology residencies are extremely competitive. The difficulty in getting an appointment is not related to the number of people who would like to be dermatologists.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by sawdust60 »

It looks like Keller ISD has a high school cosmetology program that is offered starting with sophomore year. Some kids will do a cosmetology program and use it to help pay for their college. Doing cosmetology in high school is good because they get to see what it involves, and they can start college or nursing school with the others in their graduating class. So you go along with cosmetology, but also encourage college and do the campus visits, etc. -- choose to do both.
https://www.kellerisd.net/cms/lib/TX022 ... tology.pdf

And you might investigate whether your daughter could join the class this week (start of the new semester).
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by jgdsss »

I own a hair salon but am not a hair stylist. I have 11 stylists, some of whom have been with me for 10 years. Barrier to entry is low, tuition around here is about $21k. A top school is very important here, in my area there are two. I’d suggest she work in a high end salon as an assistant for awhile now to get a feel. She can do well in the right salon with owners who invest in Advanced training, offsite education, a “level” system for getting promoted and making more in commission. I have a few young ladies (mid thirties) who work part time Bc of children. The most successful part timer works 3 days one week, 4 the next, 3 the next, etc, roughly 26 hours a week. Her total compensation was about $68k. Pretty good for parttime. However she works hard when she’s in, has clients that book in advance and don’t balk at paying a premium for color and cut. The clients are aged 40-60, retired, and have the money to spend; don’t want gray hair and come every 4-6 weeks. It’s “fun” to do certain types of hair (crazy colors, etc) but those do not create sustainable revenue/repeat/loyal customers.

She would do less well at a franchise type operation such as great clips or fantastic sams which focus on discount hair services. But there are some benefits to those types of operations.

Shadowing in a salon is the best thing she can do now. Finding a salon where she is a w4 employee (not a contractor), paid fairly hourly to start, etc, all very important. There are unscrupulous salons out there for sure that take advantage of “free labor” of newly graduated students.

I can’t stress enough the value of a professional organization with the right systems in place and growth plans for young stylists, focusing on it as a business, tracking all the right numbers etc. There are few who do it right but those that do can be successful and employ very successful stylists who can then work their schedule as they like. This comes obviously after several years of paying dues, working nights, weekends (that’s when the working people can come get their hair done), attending classes, etc. a great and outgoing personality helps too as you’re “selling” yourself every day. Looking the part; your clients don’t want to come take beauty advice from someone who puts no effort into their appearance.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Dopey »

I would really want her to do something. A long term plan of being a stay at home mom doesn’t seem secure. If Prince Charming develops a drinking problem after pounding out 4 kids and she wants to leave, she better have some skills to fall back on to remain independent.

Also, nearly everyone I know who did cosmetology after high school was looking for a career change by 25.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Tamarind »

Cosmetology school sounds like a good choice for OPs daughter. It can be a problem when it's debt financed and the student doesn't manage to break through, but OPs daughter has a head start here. Some cosmetology schools, like other for-profit schools, prey on students with loan financing. OPs daughter needs to research the reputation of the school locally and nationally and get stats on their student loan default rate, as that rate will help indicate whether the school really prepares students to do well in the field. She also needs to independently check on her state licensure requirements to see what she's need to do to maintain the ability to work over the years.

I think, money aside, the best school for a young person is to pursue something they are strongly interested in as that will predict their success better than the occupation's average pay.

Maybe the bigger conversation for OP to have over the next few years is about how realistic it is for daughter to expect to be a stay-at-home spouse as plan A. She always needs to be prepared to support herself or pull her own weight in a marriage to meet financial goals, because divorce and spouse's job loss are real risks. When she is working she needs to go after it like an entrepreneur, save for retirement any way she can, etc. Once she finds a partner they have to be on the same page about goals, and to stay home she may need to scale her expectations to her partner's career trajectory.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by renue74 »

I sold my office condo to a lady who made it into a hair salon.

I required 2 years of business and personal tax returns. She makes $110,000 per year.

The going rate in my town for hair coloring is $300.

There is good money to be made....as with any profession, ambition plays a role.
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dm200
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by dm200 »

Dopey wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:27 am I would really want her to do something. A long term plan of being a stay at home mom doesn’t seem secure. If Prince Charming develops a drinking problem after pounding out 4 kids and she wants to leave, she better have some skills to fall back on to remain independent.
Also, nearly everyone I know who did cosmetology after high school was looking for a career change by 25.
I know several professional women who have, for a period of years, been a stay at home mom - and then returned to the professional workforce. One woman Is an attorney who was a SAHM with five children - until they were grown.
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dm200
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by dm200 »

renue74 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:06 am I sold my office condo to a lady who made it into a hair salon.
I required 2 years of business and personal tax returns. She makes $110,000 per year.
The going rate in my town for hair coloring is $300.
There is good money to be made....as with any profession, ambition plays a role.
Wow! Did she have any others working there?

Glad neither my wife nor I color our hair!!
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Dottie57 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:52 pm Nothing wrong with the plan for 2 years CC and then finish at a state school. My younger son is in his freshman year of CC with that exact plan.

On the cosmetology side.....I'd recommend she go to a place who employs someone with that kind of degree and buy them lunch. A few simple questions. Do you like it? What's your day like? How much do you make? I'd expect that she may find some surprises. Would she be considered an independent contractor and when nobody comes in, she doesn't get paid? When she is paid, would her friend working at McDonalds out earn her? I get that people say to do what you love. But sometimes that has to be a hobby.
Agree. The no benefits and double fica are a really hard pill to swallow. She should figure out rent, food, car, healthcare, taxes etc to see if she can make it on doing hair. Sometimes the answer is “NO”.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by bmelikia »

KBREAMK wrote: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 pm My oldest daughter, a junior in high school, is interested in Cosmetology School. She has repeatably said how traditional college just doesn't excite her.

She does fine in school (As and Bs) but just doesn't enjoy school. She also desires to be a stay at home mother once she is married and doesn't want to take on any debt. Her plan is that if she has a skill she would be able to use it on the side if her household needed the additional income.

If she goes the traditional college approach our plan was for her to do her first two years at the local community college (she already takes some dual credit classes) before transferring to a local state school for her last two years. This would likely keep her out of serious debt since we have $42,000 for her in a 529 and would likely be able to cover any additional cost the 529 doesn't cover.

Her mother and I both have college degrees and I am still a believer in traditional higher education so I am torn on how to best advise her.

Any advice or other things to consider are very much appreciated.
My wife has her cosmetology license and does hair out of our home. We converted one our bedrooms into a dedicated salon with its own separate entrance. The conversion of the bedroom cost next to nothing (I am an estimator for a construction company) and is the equivalent of having a paid for rental. She had previously been paying $1,250/month in salon booth rent. She has an established client base and is able to work from home while my mom takes care of our 20 month old son. She likes that she gets to play with our son while she is in between clients (or while clients are processing).

Everything is roses now but it did take 5-7 years to build up a legitimate client base.

Income is around 40k
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by fredflinstone »

renue74 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:06 am I sold my office condo to a lady who made it into a hair salon.

I required 2 years of business and personal tax returns. She makes $110,000 per year.

The going rate in my town for hair coloring is $300.

There is good money to be made....as with any profession, ambition plays a role.
In my city, hair coloring costs about $300 and a blowout costs $150. Clients often tip generously on top of those costs. Someone posted above that a hair cut costs $5 in his town. I pay $20 plus tip for a hair cut. I have never heard of a $5 hair cut where I live.
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getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

Not a horrible idea, but if it were my daughter, I'd be suggesting that she find something adjacent to cosmetology school, or pursue it through the local CC along with a business degree. As far as the plan to be a stay-at-home mom, it's great to be a stay-at-home parent if that's what one desires, but it doesn't seem like a good reason to pursue cosmetology or not care about her education or career prospects. Too many variables, not the least of which is that she very well may not meet someone on the timeline she desires.
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by michaeljc70 »

fredflinstone wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:28 pm
renue74 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:06 am I sold my office condo to a lady who made it into a hair salon.

I required 2 years of business and personal tax returns. She makes $110,000 per year.

The going rate in my town for hair coloring is $300.

There is good money to be made....as with any profession, ambition plays a role.
In my city, hair coloring costs about $300 and a blowout costs $150. Clients often tip generously on top of those costs. Someone posted above that a hair cut costs $5 in his town. I pay $20 plus tip for a hair cut. I have never heard of a $5 hair cut where I live.
I posted you can get a haircut for $5. You can also spend $500. Most people 1) wouldn't trust a $5 haircut and/or 2) want to be in the neighborhood where these exist.

My bigger point is there are more people working on the lower end of the scale than higher end in most cities. As I stated above, a family member working in a full service , high end salon that does $300 colors makes almost 6 figures. This is not close to the norm though in my big city.

I'll add, that rich people might be loyal to stylists/colorists. A lot of people aren't. Another family member worked in what I would call mid range salons and found the clients not very loyal. They went somewhere else if there was a deal or Groupon or waited long periods in between visits to save money.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lalamimi
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Re: Cosmetology School vs Traditional College

Post by Lalamimi »

she is expecting a husband to let her stay home. What if she does not find one who agrees. She can go to college and find one. Yes, its 2020...
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