In the News
Enrollment at Cosmetology Schools Increases in Chicagoby Frank Medina, Chicago College Admissions Examiner on 7/29/2010
As the nation struggles to cope with the massive layoffs and unemployment rates caused by the most recent recession, many Americans have returned to college to obtain higher degrees or to acquire new skills for careers that are considered “recession proof.” When it came time for Eleana H. to acquire new skills, she chose to follow a lifelong dream of becoming a beautician and enrolled at Chicago’s newest cosmetology school, Paul Mitchell The School Chicago.
Eleana had always known that she wanted to be a cosmetologist but while attending a Catholic high school, counselors there convinced her to attend a university instead. For approximately two years, Eleana excelled at the university where she majored in business. “I liked to work with my hands and I knew I didn’t want to work behind a desk,” she stated. “When I realized the amount of people who were losing their jobs despite having advanced degrees, I started searching for a career that would allow me to be creative and grant me a certain degree of independence, values that are important to me. That’s when I went to Paul Mitchell The School Chicago for a tour and was instantly hooked.”
Apparently, Eleana isn’t the only one going to cosmetology school for career skills. The number of beauty schools nationwide has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently, at least 15% of all colleges in Chicago are cosmetology or barber colleges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for cosmetologists will increase by 20% between 2008 and 2018.
When asked why she likes the cosmetology field so much, Eleana lights up. “I love the transformation people go through while at my station. Clients don’t just trust me with their hair; many times they trust me with secrets even their best friends don’t know. At that point, I can be a therapist as well. They walk out of the shop a new person inside and out.”
Future Professionals, as students are referred to, attend Paul Mitchell The School Chicago for approximately eleven months where they receive the necessary training and hours that’ll prepare them for licensure as a cosmetologist in Illinois. Most of the training is in classrooms and labs where they practice their new skills on clients who come in for haircuts, styling, dye jobs, etc.
After giving a client a new hairstyle, Eleana smiles and knows she’s made the right choice. The client was on her way to a job interview after her session. Everyone will always need a clean hair cut or style prior to a job interview. Recession-proof indeed!