Deepak Wasule, professor and head of, Department of Cosmetic Technology, Lady Amritbai Daga (LAD) College for Women, Nagpur, tells that LAD was the first Indian institute to introduce a Bachelor’s in Cosmetic Technology in 1980. “A Master’s degree in the course was introduced in 1997 while students were able to opt for a doctoral programme from 2010 onwards,” he says.
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Initially, the course had been introduced as part of the Department of Home Science. Ketki Misar, assistant professor and head, Department of Cosmetic Technology, Kamla Nehru Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur, says that around five years ago, students of Bachelor’s (Cosmetic Technology) started getting a degree from the institute’s Science and Technology department.
Wasule says that students who have done their class XII with a combination of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics/Biology are eligible to apply for the Bachelor’s course. “We have a merit-based entry into the four-year course. LAD takes in 30 Bachelor’s students and 15 Master’s students each year,” he adds.
Kamla Nehru has 40 seats for the Bachelor’s course and 15 seats for the Master’s course, says Misar. “Getting a Masters degree remains a popular option for students. This year, we got 36 applications for entry into our Master’s course, which was filled on the first day of admission,” she adds.
Farhat Daud, former faculty, Department of Cosmetic Technology, LAD, says that there are several short-term courses available to students of Cosmetic Technology. “We are still not as advanced as the western world, where students get an opportunity to take a specialized course such as perfumes etc. Several short-term courses help interested candidates become specialists of their chosen field,” she says.
With only a girl’s college offering the course initially, the assumption was that the subject is women-oriented, says Wasule. “From a field that was believed to only deal with beauty, today Cosmetology is more about healthcare, science, and technology. Many co-education colleges have also started offering the course, gradually more boys are getting interested in the subject,” he adds.
Indian men have suddenly woken up to the use of cosmetics and personal grooming, which has made men interested in the subject. “Earlier, cosmetic products were unisex, but the cosmetologists have identified the unique requirement for men and women. Thus, there is an added requirement for professionals to work on different product ranges. This has led to a rise in interest in the field amongst a mixed group of students,” she adds. “The BTech batch has an average of 25-75% ratio of male and female students respectively. In the past five years, the number of male students has been gradually increasing,” she says.
Under the Bachelor’s in Cosmetic Technology course, students get trained in subjects such as Anatomy, Natural Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, Skin Therapy, Entrepreneurial Development, and Personality Development.
The growing need for skin care in a polluted world is bringing an arena of job opportunities to the fore, says Wasule.
“Numerous pharma industries, as well as leading cosmetic industries, are a part of our annual placement process. They come to recruit for both managerial and officer level roles in a plethora of fields, including quality control and assurance, research and development, production, marketing, and more,” tells Misar. She adds that while many girls prefer a career in research and development, boys tend to lean towards marketing, technical marketing, and production. Manufacturing, application (how to use products), marketing, engineering, technical marketing, legal, and clinical testing are other popular options available to graduates in the field, adds Daud.
Another popular option is to become an entrepreneur. “Students are showing a bend towards opening their own industrial units, wherein they have a say over the formula of cosmetics, raw materials (synthetics, natural materials, etc), and even the production process,” says Wasule.