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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Merchandising Management

Majors Overview March 13, 2014

Graduates will be prepared to start a career as a buyer of finished products for resale in retail or wholesale enterprises with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Merchandising Management program. Students will gain practical knowledge of merchandising while exploring business theory.

B.S. Programs in Merchandising Management

Students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program in Merchandising Management are imparted an understanding of marketing and advertising and an overview of the merchandising process. They are taught about human resources management, communications, product development and manufacturing processes.

Various merchandising environments, such as Internet sales, are explored in the program. Schools may offer this program as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. Coursework in some programs is a combination of studies in design and merchandising. The focus of other programs is on merchandising management in particular fields, such as fashion. Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


General coursework in humanities, sciences and math are augmented by classes devised to impart an understanding of the rudiments of merchandising. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Business communications
•Merchandising strategies
•Consumer psychology
•Service marketing

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete a Bachelor’s degree program in Merchandising Management may pursue careers in retail trades and wholesale trade. They can expect to become adept at forecasting trends, managing personnel and promoting brands. They can seek job titles such as:

•Retail buyer
•Purchasing manager
•Merchandising manager

Professional Certification and Continued Education choices

Individuals can seek career advancement by earning master’s degrees. Managers with master’s degrees are preferred by many manufacturers; top-level management positions usually go to holders of master’s degrees; (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Professional organizations often run continuing education seminars that merchandising managers can attend to enhance their knowledge of the field. Professional credentials are offered by certifying agencies to merchandising managers who satisfy knowledge and experience requirements. For example, the Certified Professional in Supply Management designation is offered by the Institute for Supply Management, while the designation of Certified in Production and Inventory Management is provided by the Association for Operations Management. Three certification programs are offered by the American Purchasing Society to people employed in the purchasing field.

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