Theory Versus Praxis: Why This Should Not Be A Fight At All

March 22, 2023

There is a long-standing debate about whether it is more useful to learn the theory behind a skill or trade, or if instead one should simply start practising on the job or in a realistic simulation.

The arguments behind both sides are clear enough: the former gives you knowledge of the concepts and principles that underpin the skill in question while the latter gives you hands-on experience and confidence in your ability.

This question is especially important in fields like the beauty and dermal industry, which have traditionally been seen as low-academic and vocational but are rapidly evolving alongside newly advancing technology and techniques. To be successful, practitioners certainly need these practical skills, but today’s environment demands a greater level of theoretical knowledge too.

Anyone who takes a moment to think about this debate can see the obvious answer that it shouldn’t be an either/or situation. In fact, combining theoretical and practical study together is the only reliable method for gaining a truly comprehensive skillset.  

Here’s the main benefits that can enhance your career opportunities, improve your skills, and increase your earning potential:

  1. Increased Knowledge: Studying theory provides the foundation for the concepts and principles that underpin the beauty industry specifically, such as product knowledge and relevant skin science, as well as general knowledge around customer service and business management. According to a survey conducted by the National Skills Academy for Beauty in the UK, 95% of beauty employers believed that theoretical knowledge was essential for success in the beauty industry.
  1. Improved Practical Skills: Practical learning allows you to develop your technical skills through hands-on experience, which the Australian Industry and Skills Committee finds critical for developing the necessary skills and knowledge required in the beauty industry. Practising under the guidance of experienced professionals allows you to gain confidence in your abilities, refine your techniques, and perfect your skills and combining this practical learning with theoretical knowledge provides a comprehensive learning experience.
  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: The beauty industry can be unpredictable, and problems can arise unexpectedly. Combining theory with practical learning can enhance your problem-solving abilities to identify and solve issues as they arise, and this can be the difference between a satisfied customer and a dissatisfied one. According to a survey by the Australian Industry Group from 2019, problem-solving skills were identified as one of the essential skills required in the beauty industry.
  1. Career Advancement: Having both theoretical knowledge and practical skills can make you a more attractive candidate for promotions or new job opportunities. Employers are often looking for individuals who can demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge to ensure they can deliver high-quality services to their customers. The Australian Government's Job Outlook website states that beauty therapists with additional training in management or business skills have a higher chance of advancing in their careers.
  1. Increased Earning Potential: Combining theory with practical learning can help you stand out in the industry by demonstrating that you have a comprehensive understanding and can deliver high-quality services to clients. This can lead to increased demand for your services and potentially higher earnings. According to the Job Outlook website, the median weekly earnings for beauty therapists in Australia in 2021 was $1,050. However, those with additional qualifications and experience can earn significantly higher salaries, with some earning up to $1,800 per week.

It’s clear that combining theoretical knowledge with practical learning is crucial for success in the beauty and dermal industry. It provides a comprehensive learning experience, enhancing your skills and knowledge, and this leads to increasing your earning potential and career prospects.  

This is why the Australasian College of Health and Wellness believes that we are the best education provider for aspiring professionals. Our bachelor’s degree is the most academically advanced course on the market, so no other institute can match us in terms of theory. We partner with leading dermal technology companies to deliver our practical clinics, ensuring that our students gain hands-on experience with the best and latest.  

Finally, we also partner with the Australian Institute of Management, which is the country’s leading provider of leadership and management training, to give our higher education students unlimited access to their short course programs.

To succeed in the industry, make sure to choose a program that provides a balance of theoretical and practical learning to ensure you have comprehensive wealth of knowledge and skills.

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