Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in visual merchandising and their coursework, career choices, wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Visual Merchandising
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Visual Merchandising are devised to train students for the pursuit of careers in numerous fields, such as fashion, retail, and restaurant and hospitality. Schools also offer bachelor’s degree programs in visual merchandising as fashion merchandising majors. The program is devised to teach prospective merchandisers modes of developing floor plans and displays aimed at attracting customers and increasing sales.
Apart from an examination of economics, visual presentation, store design, and fashion fundamentals, students also learn visual merchandising via fieldwork. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
Students enrolled in the program learn the fundamentals of design, visual communications, and consumer trends. Coursework includes the exploration of fashion history, retail buying, fashion trends, consumer textiles, and clothing construction.
Many programs also offer opportunities for real-world experiences, including internships and visits to retail and wholesale companies and fashion shows. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:
The program imparts analytical and negotiation skills necessary to finding products and vendors for low prices. Those who complete the program can seek entry-level jobs in retail stores as well as in almost any consumer market where merchandising skills are requirements. They may seek job titles such as:
In March 2014, visual merchandisers brought in an average annual wage of $40,306. In the same month merchandise planners, showroom managers, and wholesale buyers earned respective average annual wage packets of $62,841, $45,137, and $51,470.
Continuing Education Choices
Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program can pursue continuing education by earning a master’s degree in fashion merchandising, wherein the focus is primarily on a particular niche within merchandising.
Schools offer specialization in design, textiles, and consumer behavior. Non-thesis and thesis options are also offered to augment teaching assistantships for those seeking careers in academia. In-depth education in retail trends, customer behavior, and management and marketing theories is available.