Starting And Progressing Your Career In The Beauty And Wellness Industry


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Choosing the right educational path is crucial, considering the varying levels of qualifications in the beauty therapy and medical aesthetics sectors. Key considerations before enrolling include career goals, financial means, and academic capabilities.


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Qualifications range from lower NQF levels for skills-oriented treatments such as manicures, pedicures, make-up, basic skincare, massage, and hair removal to higher levels for advanced procedures such as Somatology or Advanced Aesthetic Therapy, where the more advanced treatments pose a higher risk of complications and require more accountability from the therapist.

Choosing the best educational pathway for you

Considerations before enrolling into any course:

Career goals: Ensure the qualification aligns with future aspirations, impacting the scope of practice, job opportunities and further studies. 

Financial means: Plan for the entire course duration (years), considering living expenses for full-time studies away from home to avoid mid-course dropout.

Academic Capabilities: Choose a course that matches proficiency.  Skills-based training with a lower NQF level may be better suited for some individuals who find higher NQF level theoretical subjects challenging. 

At the Isa Carstens® Academy, detailed career discussions are held with applicants before finalising an application to ensure that the candidate chooses the best feasible option for their needs.

It is important to understand the distinction between registered qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and short courses not registered on the NQF, as well as the limitations and benefits of each. Learn more about the NQF system in Higher Education and how it applies to the Beauty and Wellness industry in this video, which answers the following questions:

  • What is the National Qualifications Framework?
  • How do I progress within the Beauty, Wellness and Skincare industry?
  • How do I know which qualification to choose?
  • How can I work Internationally?

As the leader in our industry for over 45 years, the Isa Carstens® Academy offer courses that ensure a high employability rate and has met the standards of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Always verify all institutional registrations and accreditations with SAQA to ensure that your educational needs at met in the long run: https://allqs.saqa.org.za/search.php?cat=qua

Career Goals Supported by Higher Education Qualifications:

  • Flexibility: Extended career options are supported, such as cruise ships, training, education, medical aesthetics, and corporate roles, requiring problem-solving skills and independence.
  • Solid Foundation: Ideal for those serious about building a strong foundation in the industry, with increased intellectual abilities and problem-solving skills.
  • Scientific Skin Care: Perfect for advancing in scientific skincare, demanding a deep understanding of theory and critical thinking.

The Higher Education Courses offered by the Isa Carstens® Academy have an annual intake in January, and include the following:

Higher Certificate In Front Office Administration (with optional Beauty Therapy modules)

Duration: 1 Year Full Time / NQF Level 5 (120 credits)

Diploma in Somatology

Duration: 3 Years Full Time / NQF Level 6 (360 credits)

Advanced Diploma in Dermal Aesthetics

Duration: 1 Year Distance Learning / NQF Level 7 (120 credits)

To speak with a career advisor and apply online, visit our website.

Career Goals Supported by Short Courses:

  • Specific Skill Sets: Suitable for those wanting to practice specific skills without further academic studies or desire for a broader scope of practice.
  • Cost Flexibility: Offers flexibility in cost structures and completion time and is less expensive overall than full contact-based and full-time qualifications.
  • Career Advancement: Useful for qualified therapists looking to learn new technologies and techniques post-graduation and continue their professional development.
  • Exploratory Gap Year: Ideal for high-school leavers exploring the industry with short courses during a gap year before committing to full-time studies.

Entrepreneurial short courses at the Isa Carstens® Academy

The Isa Carstens Academy turned 45 last year and is well-known for excellent health and skincare therapy education in Higher Education. 

The introduction of short courses was carefully crafted to consider meeting the needs of more women and to be more accessible to those whose career goals are supported by short courses.

Courses are structured to have flexible starting dates and online self-paced learning combined with in-class practical sessions with an expert trainer. This is ideal for part-time students, without compromising essential contact sessions crucial to delivering quality work and returning clients.

Furthermore, the Isa Carstens® Academy prioritises industry integrity by offering courses that support the continuous professional development of qualified therapists, such as advanced aesthetic therapies, laser and light therapies and salon and spa management.

Start your career

The elementary courses are grouped into entrepreneurial career categories that meet consumers' demands, including Massage Therapists, Lash and Eyebrow Specialists, Nail Technicians, and Hair Removal Therapists. Several modules exist under each category, from which prospects can choose, with the goal of completing all modules to provide a full service within these top-selling categories.

Qualified therapists may find that some of these modules were not included in their training and can, therefore, build on their skills with selected modules. Learn more and enroll online: https://isacarstens.co.za/shortcourses/entrepreneurial-short-courses

Advance your career

In this ever-evolving industry, qualified skincare therapists must prioritise continuous professional development, allowing them to enhance their skills and stay current with industry developments.  

The Isa Carstens® Academy offers Dermaplaning and Microneedling short courses for qualified therapists, including theory and practice. The laser and Light Therapies Theory course is ideal for industry practitioners who require a broader theoretical knowledge of laser and light therapies.

Therapists will understand the science and physics behind laser and light technologies to protect business owners and clients by applying safe and effective treatment parameters.  Learn more: https://isacarstens.co.za/shortcourses/advanced-professional-development-course/

Expand your career

The Salon and Spa Management course provides all professionals working in spas or salons with a comprehensive understanding of managing all aspects within a salon and/or spa environment. These fundamental managerial skills can be purchased as single modules and include: 

  • Business Planning
  • Managing Finances
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Sales Techniques
  • Operational Management
  • Human Resource Management

Short Course Enrolment

Get certified by an industry leader with more than 45 years of experience in academic excellence.  View and apply for courses online: https://isacarstens.co.za/shortcourses/

Short Learning Programmes Co-ordinator & Student Advisor:  +27 (0)64 9911 884 / [email protected] / www.isacarstens.co.za

Join our Open Day on 19 April 2024 at 9am, at either our Pretoria or Stellenbosch campuses, to understand which course will help you to meet your career goals.  Interact with our students and visit the ladies residence while touring our campus.

isa carstens academy open day

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Are you looking to study a beauty therapy course or programme? Find out everything you need to know about beauty therapy and where to study beauty therapy in South Africa below.






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