Dear Joyce: If I become a cosmetologist, would I be getting into a career that does not fall to recessions? -- S.J.
No business is recession-proof, even health, but cosmetology is recession-resistant. Depending on your locale, it's possible to build your annual income to $50,000 or more within three or so years. An ambitious person can open a salon with a fairly modest investment.
Although you can enter the professional salon industry as an investor and manager who hires licensed cosmetologists, the best way is to attend an accredited beauty school and become state licensed yourself.
Dear Joyce: My wife and I would like to open a small travel agency in Minnesota. We do not know where to start, where we get the information we need to open our agency, such as software to plug into some network somewhere to book airline seats. Help! -- H.J.M.
I asked one of the top travel career educators in the business, Evelyn Echols of Echols International Travel and Hotel Schools in Chicago.
I do believe there's a market for a mom-and-pop travel agency where personal service is still available to the client, but you must become aware of the stringent rules and regulations pertaining to the opening of an agency.
To be approved for the International Air Transport Association, one must have a minimum of two years' experience in the marketing and sale of travel with a recognized agency.
Without IATA approval, you can't obtain airline tickets. If you do not have the experience, it will be necessary for you to hire a manager who meets this requirement.
The American SABRE system and the United APOLLO system are used by a majority of agencies, but you might talk to Northwest Airlines about what you should do in your specific locale.
It would be unwise to open an agency without a minimum of $75,000 in capital.
It might be wiser for you to seek employment in an existing agency and see if they will sell you stock in the company later. When agencies fail, it usually is due to lack of experience or proper financing.
Dear Joyce: What is paraoptometry? -- A.D.
Optometrists in group practices hire paraoptometrics -- technicians or assistants.
For a booklet, "So You Want to be a Paraoptometric," enclose a stamped, self-addressed long white envelope to Communications Center, American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63141.
READER NOTE: To obtain a copy of the 1992-93 edition of "The College Financial Aid Emergency Kit" by Joyce Lain Kennedy, make a check for $4.25 payable to SFI, enclose a self-addressed, long white envelope stamped with 52 cents postage and send to Kit, Box 368C, Cardiff, Calif. 92007.)