For many careers, a college degree is pretty much a requirement to even be considered for a job in that field. However, when it comes to the modeling industry, your ability to get a job is based almost solely on your physical appearance.
The fashion industry is a young person’s playground, and most models get their start while still in high school. This often makes it difficult when it comes time for high school graduation and making the choice between pursuing modeling fulltime or to continue your education and get a college degree.
Most models retire from full-time modeling in their late twenties/early thirties, while a select few can continue successfully for a couple more years before it becomes more of a part-time gig or they step out of the industry altogether. Because it’s such a short-term career for most, having something to fall back on once your career slows down or stops entirely is important. While earning a college degree is not a requirement to work as a model, there are a lot of reasons for models to make it part of their career plans, especially if the field they’re also interested in requires a college degree.
A traditional degree and the college lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people hate studying and do not like the idea of getting into debt at such a young age. Some don’t need a degree to work in their field of interest outside of the modeling industry. Luckily, there are now many options available if you want to give fulltime modeling a shot without pausing on your education. Almost all degree paths offer online options and flexible class schedules, which allows you to balance working as a model and setting up for a career once modeling isn’t your main focus.
To be truly successful in the industry, you must be business savvy. You have to understand contracts, know how to manage your finances, and know how to market yourself. Too many young people get taken advantage of in the modelling industry due to lack of knowledge. Taking a business and/or marketing course is always a great idea, and is something that can easily translate to life after modeling. Many top models pursue different business opportunities, often still in the fashion industry, when their modeling careers are coming to an end.
Whatever path you decide to take, make sure to think it through and make the best moves for you. Don’t let the glitz and glam of the modeling industry make you forget that that career timeline is often very limited, so make sure you are looking out for your future self and are prepared to start your next adventure when the modeling work slows down.