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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fashion Merchandising

Majors Overview June 13, 2013

Students enrolled in an Associate of Science (A.S.) in fashion merchandising degree programs are trained to optimize profit margins through the use of contemporary stylistic trends. Students can delve into product development, creation, and themes of design. They may also become adept at promotion, advertising, and marketing. Associate degree program graduates are usually qualified for opportunities with the corporate fashion world, retail sales, and with fashion designers.

A.S. in Fashion Merchandising Program

Students who are enrolled in fashion merchandising associate degree programs will examine both the business side and design aspects of the fashion industry. They will learn how to suggest stylistic choices according to client needs, manage fashion shows, and optimize product displays. The degree programs offer training in product development, including merchandise care, labeling regulations, and selection of materials. Students will explore advertising, sales, and promotion. They may explore trends throughout history and apply them to the creation of current merchandise.

Associate degree programs usually focus on familiarizing students with computer systems, which help organize finances, analyze sales, and manage inventory. Students will learn methods of conducting market research to optimize customer retention and satisfaction. Depending on the programs, some will organize field trips to fashion design studios, manufacturing sites, and retail stores. Typically, to gain admission into these programs, students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Students can complete the degree program within two years, if they are enrolled full-time.

Program Coursework

The majority of programs require a minimum of sixty semester hours of coursework. Depending on the programs, some will offer internship opportunities to gain real-world experience in the field. Students will be able to develop portfolios to highlight their skills to potential employers. In addition to basic educational requirements, course topics may include the following:

•Fashion events
•Retail management
•Culture in fashion
•Retail purchasing
•Fashion trends
•Fashion history
•Product evaluation

Career Options

Associate degree program graduates may seek employment with fashion designers, department stores, or boutiques. They may also work in the business sector in fashion promotion, marketing, or advertising. Individuals may obtain the following job titles:

•Visual merchandiser
•Fashion show coordinator
•Retail buyer
•Personal stylist

Information on Continuing Education

Graduates can complete fashion merchandising certificate programs during the course of their careers to help keep abreast of the latest trends. They can enhance their knowledge through certification programs in apparel design and other related topics. Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in fashion merchandising will be the most appropriate step for individuals who want to advance their career opportunities.

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