Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in fashion production and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Fashion Production
Schools offer Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs in Apparel Product Design and Merchandising, as well as in Fashion Design and Production, to suit the needs of students seeking careers in fashion production.
Coursework in fashion production programs combine business courses pertinent to the fashion industry with general education classes in liberal arts. Many programs are devised to teach students all aspects of garment production, including computer-aided design, pattern making, construction, and tailoring.
Students enrolled in fashion production programs are instructed in the business of fashion, beginning with consumer research and going on to retail placement followed by brand promotion. A fashion industry internship is completed by every student, whereby he or she can gain practical experience in real-world settings and a portfolio developed showcasing his or her garment design skills.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
Coursework is devised to include courses in math, art, and fashion history. Additionally, a range of business courses are also taken by students aiming to develop a strong grasp of the demands of various careers in the fashion industry. Core coursework may include these topic areas:
•Apparel product development
•Presentation and merchandising
After they complete a bachelor’s degree in fashion production, students may seek business-oriented positions as well as upper- or middle-management careers in fashion production. Their job options will include the following:
•Fashion and apparel merchandiser
•Computer-aided pattern maker
•Apparel product development engineer
Job and Wage Outlook
In May 2012, fashion designers brought home an average annual wage of $62,860, while pattern makers and retail buyers banked $38,650 and $51,470, respectively (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In January 2014, general product development engineers and fashion merchandisers earned respective annual average wages of $71,686 and $42,443.
Negative job growth rates of 3% and 25% have been predicted for fashion designers and pattern makers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). Over the same period, buyers are expected to see a 4% growth.
Continuing Education Choices
A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most fashion designer and purchasing manager positions. Some graduates may opt for continuing education by completing graduate certificate programs in fashion or retail merchandising, wherein the curriculum usually includes five or six courses in topic areas such as merchandising management, retailing, fashion theory, and consumer behavior.
Continuing education may also be sought through enrollment in a master’s degree program in merchandising, retail, textiles, or fashion apart from other relevant disciplines, such as business administration or marketing. Graduate level education would enable these professionals to open their own businesses or seek top management positions.