As we discussed in the previous post, there are some major challenges faced by the massage therapy industry and one of the biggest, from the employer’s point of view is finding quality, licensed massage therapists to meet the growing demand. As massage therapy has evolved from a luxury experience to being part of many people’s health and wellness maintenance plans, spas, clinics, even doctor offices are constantly looking for more massage therapists. For those looking to get into the industry and become massage therapists, that is great to know that your services are in demand. But for employers that we talk to every day, they know that they are not keeping up with demand.
One thing we hear from both employers and school alike is that graduates leave the academic environment and enter the workforce and can lack the practical business experience and professionalism, aka soft skills, referring to the skills in meeting and greeting clients, interacting with other employees in a professional setting. These skills can take a while to take hold with new graduates to transition from student to professional.
It is our belief that we can narrow that gap between student and professional by integrating that student into a professional setting earlier than in traditional educational pathways. Practical training can actually take place in the real-world businesses. Students are immersed in a professional environment, interacting with licensed therapists, managers, and the clients earlier in their journey. This speeds up the onboarding process and shortens the learning curve for the students.
This approach benefits the businesses by increasing their access to new therapists that once they graduate, have already been trained in their specific environment in their clinic.
This approach breaks down the wall between education and vocation. We believe in lowering the cost and time it takes to go from student to practicing, licensed therapist.
This approach doesn’t add any more time to a students overall training or hour requirements, it simply allows the practical training to be completed in a real-world, profession setting as apposed to a purely academic setting separated from the workplace. Students in this program get the same exact training they would get in a traditional classroom setting with all the benefits of being exposed to the professional environment. Students get exposure to working, licensed therapists that are their instructors and mentors, sharing valuable insights from someone actively working in the industry. Students establish relationships with these therapists and other business associates that they will be working with after the program will getting the training and skills necessary to be a licensed therapist.
Because employers are directly involved in student training earlier on, coupled with the online component of the theory training, the cost of instruction decreases, and those savings are passed on to the students. Students aren’t paying for the overhead of a separate schooling environment. Our approach is moving the industry in the more practical, modern way of connecting the quality training with efficient employment, which is the goal of both the student and the employer.
This approach is the massage therapy version of an apprenticeship model.
This program is directly in line with our approach of using new, innovative methods to address the challenges in the massage therapy industry: making it more efficient to creating quality massage therapists.
Employers love this approach because it gives them access to quality students who will learn directly in their spas, learn their business culture and soft skills they prefer and then those students can seamlessly transition to becoming an employee.
This approach is a quick, direct, lower cost career path option for students and helps employers fill those open positions with quality therapists that know their business…a win-win for the industry.