Students are often concerned with picking the right career right away, gravitating towards general programs that they believe will look attractive on a resume even if they are not necessarily the student’s ideal career choice. However, many students enter into a program expecting to use it as a stepping-stone for their career and end up falling in love with the work.
Janice Laster, cosmetology instructor at Lanier Charter Career Academy in Gainesville, Georgia believes that cosmetology can be both a fantastic career choice and a stepping stone to other industries. She believes this so strongly that she has developed a training program around this idea.
“I would say a little more than 50 percent of our students go into cosmetology,” said Laster, “A lot of them want to do it for their career, and a lot of them want to have their license as a backup plan. And then some students know they want to pursue some other degree, but they do cosmetology while in school to pay for their education.”
While her students are learning the ins and outs of the beauty industry, Laster is also encouraging them to go to college and get advanced degrees alongside encouraging them to get their full cosmetology license. She teaches students how to service hair, nails, and administer facials, but she also teaches them skills that they can carry into a workplace in any field.
By teaching that cosmetology is both a solid career choice and a field that can provide valuable experience across the board, Laster is attracting students to her school that would have never considered a career in cosmetology otherwise.
For her work, Laster recently received the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education’s Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award. Thanks to her and educators like her, the field of cosmetology as a whole continues to be highly respected in the academic and business worlds.