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Tried and True: 5 Resources to Expand Your Education

Contact Author Terri A. Wojak
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In today’s esthetic industry, if you aren’t learning, you're falling behind. With a multitude of resources, learning about esthetics is easier than ever. With online classes, tradeshows and more, there are many resources to consider when looking to improve your resume.

Here are 5 resources that you can use to expand your education: 

1. Classes

Classes are usually the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of continuing education.  Classroom education is more beneficial than online classes. Not only do you learn from the instructor, but you can gain knowledge from peers as well. Other students may have questions about something that you would never have thought to ask.

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There are two types of continuing education classes: non-product-specific and product- specific courses. There are companies that focus primarily on non-product specific continuing education courses. The benefit is that the information is not directly correlated to a specific product or device.

The advantage of product-specific courses is that they are typically less expensive. Nonetheless, both programs are great options because there will always be room for improvement; whether it is to get better at a certain skill or to learn something completely new.

Read, read and then read some more. There are industry magazines, newsletters and books available that have a plethora of information. 

Online classes are another option in how they can lack the personal attention and environment that a classroom experience can essentially provide. However, if you do look for online classes, ensure that there will be an educator available to answer any questions that may potentially come up. Do your research to make sure whatever company you go for has a good reputation.

2. Trade Shows

Trade shows or professional expos provide a great forum for education, not only in the classes but by the multiple vendors of product companies. It is the fastest way to hear about new product advancements directly from the source.

The representatives usually have great elevator pitches, meaning they can typically give you a good amount of information about their product in under 30 seconds. The more versatile your knowledge is, the easier it will be to choose the best treatments and products for your clients and your business.

Networking will always prove beneficial. ... You never know who you may meet. The person next to you could be your future employer.

Education at expos is typically given by industry leaders, which is something you don’t experience every day. Take advantage of these opportunities, as you never know when you may have the chance to see your favorite speaker again.

Networking is also a good way to learn about advancements in the industry as well as business building techniques. Networking will always prove beneficial. For example, you never know who you may meet. The person next to you could be your future employer.

3. Industry Publications

Read, read and then read some more. There are industry magazines, newsletters and books available that have a plethora of information. The majority are free, so there are no excuses. Articles of the latest advancements are usually published before the products are released.  This allows you to be ahead of the game at all times. Scientific research studies are also important to keep up with because new technologies and techniques are developed in the industry daily.  

The easiest way to find information today is through the internet. Digital publications often give readers the option to sign up for their newsletters. Newsletters often include information on best practices, including business building, product knowledge and what’s new in the industry.  Digital articles are easy on-the-go reads that you can easily access through a phone, an I-pad or a kindle. Digital media provides a professional approach to the usage of modern day technology.

4. Social Media Forums

Let’s admit it. Social media has taken over our lives in one way or another. Estheticians have many social media groups that they can refer to for all sorts of information. It is best to get multiple opinions before developing your own theory.  

Educating yourself is the key to becoming the best esthetician you can be; for yourself and your clients. There are groups on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn that were developed specifically for industry professionals to share their knowledge. Learning from other estheticians is a great way to evaluate services, techniques, and products.

It is always in your best interest to keep learning as much as you can because the esthetic industry is forever evolving.

An advantage to online forums is that it allows estheticians to post their questions and concerns in a Q&A format. Estheticians around the world may respond to those questions.  Hashtags are also a great way to search for information on specific topics. It is extremely important to keep an open mind because not every technique, product or device will work for everyone.   

5. Internships

Internships are an excellent way to further advance your education through practical work experiences. Shadowing others in an environment you’re passionate about can be an unmatched asset to your education, not to mention your résumé.

Many companies offer paid and/or unpaid internships for motivated students to gain more real-world experience. The type of work varies from company to company. The option to participate in this work environment can be very valuable to your future. Internships can also help estheticians determine their area of specialty.

There are many career paths for an esthetician, such as medical offices or spas, day spas, industry representatives, destination spas etc. It is always in your best interest to keep learning as much as you can because the esthetic industry is forever evolving.

You may need to refresh your memory on things previously learned in the past. Remember to always do your research on the location and people who will be involved in making sure you receive the proper education that you deserve.

Terri Wojak

Terri A. Wojak, licensed esthetician of 20 years, is an authority on skin care in a medical setting, education and business. She is director and educator at True U Esthetics, co-author of Mastering Medical Esthetics and author of Aesthetics Exposed: Mastering Skin Care In A Medical Setting and Beyond. She is also a member of the 2014–2015 Skin Inc. Editorial Advisory Board.

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