Those interested in the retail, marketing, and business aspects of the industry of fashion should look into a Fashion Management degree program. Common programs in the field result in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fashion and Retail Management or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fashion Marketing and Management.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Fashion Management and Marketing
Students enrolled in a four-year Fashion Management bachelor’s degree program are provided a basic overview of the business and creative aspects of the fashion industry. Students are taught about ways of analyzing data from consumer trends, using the data to develop new fashion products, and creating marketing strategies to sell the products.
Coursework is comprised of substantial classroom education in marketing and business principles. It also includes hands-on instruction imparted via work-study programs and internships at various business outlets, such as fashion wholesalers, fashion retailers, and design houses. Enrolled students can also expect to get a firm grasp of the latest emerging technology and software related to the fashion industry.
Colleges or universities that offer this bachelor’s program have standard requirements for incoming students to satisfy. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to completing standardized tests, such as the ACT or SAT. In this particular field, the chances of admission may be enhanced through a demonstration of a portfolio or work experience. Two-year Fashion Merchandising programs are offered through some community colleges whereby students are allowed to transfer credits to advanced programs.
Coursework in a Fashion Management and Marketing degree program focuses on business aspects and strategies of the fashion industry. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:
•Principles of marketing
•Principles of management
•Introduction to fashion industry
Graduates of Fashion Management bachelor’s degree programs can seek occupations in small retail outlets or large fashion design houses in career positions such as:
•Product line planner
•Fashion marketing executive
•Visual merchandising professional
•Fashion retail manager
•Retail outlet manager
•Showroom sales associate
Job and Wage Outlook
A slower-than-normal job growth rate of 7% has been predicted for purchasing agents, buyers, and managers over the 2010-2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]). In May 2012, retail and wholesale buyers took home an average annual wage of $57,420, while purchasing managers earned $60,550, on average, during the same year.
Continuing Education Choices
Graduates of the bachelor’s program can seek continued education by earning a Master of Science (M.S.) in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Fashion Merchandising. It typically takes two years to complete the program, and students are required to complete advanced courses in business principles and research methods relevant to the fashion industry. Completion of either a thesis project or a research paper is also needed. Earning a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) can help strengthen the managerial skills of individuals with a strong background in fashion.