The massage therapy market
One thing for sure- the interest in and demand for massage and bodywork services is grown and is not going away. Not only that, but specialization in the training (often occurring in post grad CE training), has made bodywork a more sophisticated and effective choice than ever before. Basic foundational training will give students the basics and the background to understand and integrate the advanced continuing education they choose.
Currently in Michigan there is a shortage of massage therapists to fill jobs. This leads to a couple thoughts -
1) Maybe all the jobs are not all that great- but they could be starter jobs, so there's that. We candidly build into our training the discussion and awareness of the elements that might make a job "not so good", and we include elements in our training to seek out and negotiate for better pay and conditions. That said, there are definitely a lot of good jobs out there to be hired for, and we hear from clinics consistently , calling to tell us they wish to hire. And we pass that information on, so those seeking a job can pursue.
What makes a less desirable job? Well, I certainly had one or two in my distant past, so I know: low pay, pay below value, spotty scheduling by the enterprise with you showing up to a no show, with no compensation; also laborious "back to back " scheduling with no breathers or breaks. Or asking a Licensed professional to do things like clean mirrors, combs, and tidy up because they just are not scheduling you for actual massage that day. That's not what you went to school for.
2) The climate is ideal for the grad to set out on their own with the practice of their vision, perhaps on their own, or sharing space with one or more others.
3) If a student begins to build a resume of their massage training while in the program, they will have a clearer picture of what they have to offer the overall market once graduated. We guide, and require this process in the program. This will show prospective employers the experience you gained during your one year massage therapy training program.
4) A growing number of people are following their vision of how they want to help and what area they want to focus on and specialize in. This is wonderful energy which supports a student through their training and beyond. We have recently heard from people planning their future, the following: to help veterans with PSTD; to work with the prenatal and postnatal community of women ; to help people out of pain so they don't need to choose drugs; and for emotional well bring and mental fitness, to name a few .
This all said, we encourage, and even build into our program- our students to investigate the local and regional market. One way we do that is by requiring Students to go out and receive, and document, 4 DIFFERENT sessions from 4 DIFFERENT people who are LMT's. I am a believer in the immense learning that comes with observing and receiving.