November 20, 2020

Cosmetology School Vs Traditional College

Are you a high school senior getting ready to graduate? It’s an exciting time and the first big step to getting ready for a career that you feel passionate about! Chances are that you’re starting to prepare for what comes next after graduation night. Although many people assume that traditional college is the next obvious choice, this isn’t the right path for everyone. If you’re a beauty lover and can’t decide between cosmetology school and traditional college, read our blog to learn how these two options are different.

Overview of What Makes Them Different

Traditional College:

  • Students might need to take general classes unrelated to their career.
  • Traditional college usually takes at least four years until graduation.
  • Most classes will be taught in a lecture hall or classroom.
  • Lessons are mostly covered through homework assignments.

students in a college

Cosmetology School:

  • Students jump right into the subjects that they’re interested in learning.
  • Graduation could be in as little as under one year from starting school.
  • Classes are taught through a combination of classroom and practical learning.
  • Students can often participate in extracurricular activities like fashion shows, fundraisers, and other community involvement activities.

Focus on Specific Techniques

For most college degrees, students will need to take a variety of classes in order to graduate. Some of these classes may need to be general ones and won’t always cover lessons that relate to your major. While it can be fun to learn things that aren’t necessary for your career, other students want to focus on skills and techniques that interest them. That’s where an education in cosmetology school comes in!

student looking up beauty tutorials

Applying for beauty school is perfect for someone who knows they want to spend their career making a name for themselves in the beauty industry. There aren’t any general classes and students are able to immediately learn lessons that can help them in their future!

Possibly Graduate Sooner

When you graduate from a traditional college depends on a lot of factors like your major, if you took any college classes in high school, or how many credits you sign up for each semester. However, students can generally expect to spend at least four years in college. This can be a long time for anyone who can’t wait to get out in the working world, especially when compared to cosmetology school.

In the state of Idaho, cosmetologists are required to have 1600 hours of training which means that students can graduate in as little as under a year. Like traditional college, this will depend on your schedule but generally, cosmetology students will be able to graduate sooner than if they attended a traditional college.

Different Learning Styles

How you learn in a traditional college will vary depending on your major. Most of the time, however, lessons will be taught through lectures in a classroom setting. While this style of learning works for some people, other students don’t want to continue this method after high school. After all, we all learn differently and it’s okay if you don’t learn as well in a lecture hall. There are different options available!

cosmetology students in school

Like in cosmetology school, where students first learn about the techniques and then practice them in our student salon. Compared to traditional college, cosmetology school can be a lot more practical and allow you to learn through hands-on experience.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Many college classes have a lot of students in them, which means that there usually isn’t a lot of space to do things with each other outside of the classroom. This of course depends on each student’s unique experience, but most students only see each other outside of the classroom when they’re studying.

Because of the smaller class sizes and a more intimate setting, cosmetology students will usually have more opportunities to do exciting activities with their fellow beauty lovers. Whether that’s a fashion show or makeup contest, there’s plenty of ways beauty students can show off their talents in the community!

Learn More About Beauty School

If you’ve just graduated high school and you’re not sure what to do next or you’re getting ready to graduate, it’s always a great idea to find out more about the beauty world. And our team of experts is here to help you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask any more questions about our cosmetology program and if beauty school is your next step. We can’t wait to help you get started!


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Now's the perfect time to pursue a career in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering. We'll even help you find a job after you graduate! We offer financial aid to those who qualify and our schedule allows you to have the perfect school/life balance.

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Our cosmetology program provides students with training in hair, skin, and nail care.

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Our esthetics program focuses on the theory and practical application of skin care techniques.

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We offer a nail technology program that trains students in the art and science of nail care.

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Our barbering program is designed to teach students fades, shaves, skin care and more.

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Our salon is supervised by our experienced educators, and as a result you can experience and enjoy Aveda salon and spa services at amazing prices. All services are performed by our students under the supervision of licensed professionals. We offer special perks through our Pure Privilege Membership, and we offer a full range of salon and spa services. Check out our work below, and contact us today to book your appointment.
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