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Overview of Associate Degree Programs in Merchandising

Majors Overview April 22, 2013

Merchandising is a field of study related to advertising and business; it concentrates on various skills and techniques for promoting economic activity. Bachelor and master degree programs in merchandising are offered by universities and colleges with extensive fashion, design, or business programs. Associate degree programs in merchandising generally include an additional area of concentration in fashion, textile sciences, or design.

Associate Degree Program in Merchandising

Associate degree programs in merchandising focus on various subjects, such as retail operations, business management and visual marketing. There are also several courses in business, including business administration, sales and consumer behavior. Many schools insist on students displaying proficiency with technological skills in desktop publishing and digital imaging. A portfolio of original material has to be maintained by merchandising students who usually take two years to earn an associate’s degree.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria usually require candidates who want to enroll in an associate degree program in merchandising to submit an application accompanied by a processing fee. Prospective students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. While some schools require applicants to submit standardized scores, others do not.

Program Course Topics

Associate degree programs usually incorporate various subjects in fine arts, business, and computer science. Core courses in merchandising program cover communication, sales, and textile production, in addition to:

•Visual branding techniques
•Computer applications in business
•Group psychology
•Legal aspects of business
•Fundamentals of marketing

Career Options

Students who have earned their associate degree in merchandising will be able to pursue careers such as corporate promotions, fashion design, and retail sales. This program usually takes two years to complete, graduates will be able to obtain entry-level positions and work their way up to higher salaries and positions. Ultimately, employment opportunities may include:

•Market researcher
•Merchandise manager
•Marketing representative
•Publicist
•Product coordinator

Continuing Education

Students should consider pursuing additional education, such as a bachelor degree program where they can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree, once they have completed the associate degree program in merchandising. Aspiring merchandising professionals may want to select majors that are related to arts, design, fashion, marketing, and business. Graduate-level education in these fields is widely available.

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