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Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Fashion Merchandising

Majors Overview May 14, 2013

Students who have a desire to sell fashionable items to the public and an interest in fashion should consider a career in fashion merchandising. An associate degree program in fashion merchandising will prepare students for wholesale and retail positions selling fashion items. Those who complete the program will earn an Associate of Arts degree and will be qualified for entry-level positions in the field. Typically, the degree program will take students approximate two years to complete, if they are enrolled full-time.

A.A. Degree in Fashion Merchandising

Graduates from a fashion merchandising associate degree program are typically provided with skills and knowledge in the areas of retail, business and marketing. Coursework also includes knowledge about the fashion industry and design and trend concepts among others that make the industry unique. Admission criteria in these programs usually do not require applicants to hold more than a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Coursework in several fashion merchandising programs requires students to learn general educational courses in communications, math and history as a precursor to core courses in fashion-related topics.

Program Coursework

Generally, students who are pursuing an Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising program take courses related to the fashion industry and marketing. Along with coursework, students may participate in internship programs where they will learn in a real sales setting. Fashion merchandising program course topics may include the following:

•Selling strategies
•Retail buying
•Fashion product promotion
•Product knowledge

Career Options

Students who have graduated from an associate degree program in fashion merchandising will be qualified for entry-level positions in wholesale outlets or retail stores. Opportunities may also be available in other areas of fashion merchandising, including management, product development, and marketing. Individuals can pursue the following career options:

•Fashion sales clerk
•Fashion retail business owner
•Store manager

Information on Continuing Education

Candidates may be required to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree for certain careers in fashion merchandising, including product buyer. Typically, students who have completed an associate degree program may transfer credits earned to a four-year bachelor degree program or a six-year master degree program in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or other fashion-related areas. Students who want to qualify for higher level positions or improve their job opportunities should consider furthering their education in the fashion merchandising field.

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