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Degree Overview: Associate of Retail Management

Majors Overview June 6, 2013

Retail sales employees who want to advance within the industry should consider earning an associate degree in retail management. Along with customer service skills, retail management associate degree program will teach students business fundamentals to aid retail buyers, store owners, and managers in daily work tasks.

Retail Management Associate Degree Program

To gain admission into the associate degree program in retail management, students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Whether the degree program culminates with an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree; a retail management program curriculum provides instruction in the skills needed to train and supervise employees, maintain day-to-day operations of a retail outlet, and interact with customers. Associate degree programs in retail management will also teach students the fundamentals of using technology in a business environment, creating promotional campaigns, and keeping financial records. Programs usually places emphasis on topics unique to the retail industry, leadership skills, effective communication, and basic math for accounting.

Program Coursework

Retail management associate degree program graduates will be prepared to operate a retail store through a strong core of business courses. Typically, associate degree program in retail management usually include the following classes:

•Computers for business
•Operations management
•Human relations
•Human resource management
•Financial accounting
•Business communication

Career Options

The retail industry is comprised of various professional positions, and academic standards for these positions can vary between employers. Graduates may obtain the following career titles in the retail industry:

•Purchasing manager
•Retail buyer
•Shift supervisor
•Merchandise manager
•Store department manager

Information on Continuing Education

College degree holders can expect favorable job opportunities in the retail industry provided that they have the required sales experience and management training. Individuals who successfully complete associate degree programs in retail management can continue their education by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in a related area such as retail management, merchandising, marketing or business. Corporate-sponsored or on-the-job training programs for retail supervisors and management trainees are offered by some companies. Some merchandising and retail managers hold master’s degrees in business, although most acquire their positions through a combination of continuing education and work experience.

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