When I was in school and coming up to leaving cert beauty was something that I didn’t see as a career. There were nowhere near as many beauty colleges or careers that you could carve around beauty as there are now. I went ahead and did Business Studeis and Marketing and more recently digital marketing. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that eventually my job would lead me straight to the industry on a full time basis, let alone see me build my own platform for beauty.
I think that for too long in Ireland women that are interested in beauty were not given the credit they deserve. When we look at women that started out in beauty and built empires around themselves based on having a beauty acreditation we have to be wowed. The times are a changing, the influence of social media, reality TV and influencers has seen more and more women chasing their dreams. Retraining is something that is an option for many women. But as it’s September lets look at school leavers.
A new survey commissioned by CIDESCO the global training body and professional standard-setter for the Beauty and Spa sector reveals that Generation Y (17-19-year olds) rank make-up and beauty as their top interest (88%), significantly ahead of fashion (71%) exercise (39%), cooking (34%) and even music (79%).
The independent survey which was carried out by leading Irish youth market research firm GenerationY.ie canvassed current school leavers and also shows that a staggering number of respondents (42%) say they would definitely consider pursuing a career in the beauty industry, showing how their love of beauty has the potential to transition from passion into a purposeful career choice.
Generation Z’s obsession with all things beauty is likely to have been influenced by social media, celebrities, famous beauty bloggers and Ireland’s new band of savvy female beauty entrepreneurs who have turned their beauty skills into successful beauty businesses leveraging demographic fundamentals and demand too for homegrown beauty brands and services. Nowadays beauty therapists and make-up artistry graduates can forge an enviable career and gain a following and credibility by showcasing their work on social media. Not only is that bringing therapists more success, but it’s also spurring on younger generations to consider careers in beauty.
The global beauty and spa market will reach $190 billion in revenues by 2024, fuelled by hectic, over-connected lifestyles, innovation in advanced aesthetic procedures and an ageing population. According to Mary O’Donoghue, President of CIDESCO Ireland “The impact of Ireland’s buoyant beauty industry is evident and is manifesting in an unprecedented demand for professional training and educational courses. Employment in this sector offers many candidates their ‘dream job’ and a career that is engaging and fulfilling whilst also being flexible and stable. Even during economic uncertainty, the beauty industry tends to be insulated from its harshest impact as a beneficiary of the so-called ‘lipstick effect.”
As a nation, we spend an estimated €9 million euros each day on beauty and wellness. In spite of the rosy outlook for Ireland’s beauty and wellness industry and the robust demand for trained professionals – there are currently an estimated 30,000 global vacancies in the beauty and spa industry, not all beauty therapy qualifications are considered equal by potential employees. According to Mary O’Donoghue “Ensuring you have an Internationally recognised and accredited qualification is paramount.”
CIDESCO is working to raise the respect of the beauty industry in Ireland by focussing on three main areas according to Mary “Raising the reputation of the beauty industry by enhancing accredited education, investing in innovation through advanced training programmes and by ensuring that schools adequately signpost educational pathways into the beauty and wellness industry instead of positioning as a last ditch option when other course are not attainable.”
As the industry undergoes seismic shifts, Mary O’Donoghue offers some final words of wisdom for those who are considering studying beauty therapy: “In a fast-paced industry where advanced and innovative new aesthetics are launching every day, you also need to be interested in STEM subjects too as today’s beauty courses are highly reliant on science and technology. There is a substantial element of training in biology including skin anatomy and physiology and skin diseases and cosmetic chemistry.”