While master's degrees in fashion marketing are not common in the United States, many universities offer Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Fashion Merchandising. Students are trained to analyze and interpret trends in the fashion retail market in order to make informed purchasing and merchandising decisions. They also learn about targeting products to key demographic groups and using visual advertising techniques to make items more appealing to consumers.
These programs typically take two years to complete and may require an internship or work-study experience at a fashion design house or fashion marketing firm. Prior to graduation, students must submit a thesis paper or project. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field, and they may need to submit a portfolio of previous work.
Master's Degree in Fashion Merchandising
Master's programs in fashion merchandising provide students with an overview of the fashion industry by covering basic business principles, cutting-edge technologies, apparel manufacturing practices and marketing strategies. These programs provide both theoretical instruction and practical training in fashion and business. Here are some common course topics:
- Product development
- Retail buying
- Visual merchandising
- Fashion marketing
- Trends in merchandising
- Retail market analysis
Popular Career Options
These programs are ideal for students who want to pursue business-related careers in the fashion industry or a retail establishment. Some available positions might include:
- Fashion marketing account manager
- Retail store manager
- Fashion buyer
- Fashion manufacturing director
- Apparel wholesaler
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is expected to increase 7% from 2014-2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary was $52,940 for wholesale and retail buyers.
Continuing Education Options
Graduates of a master's degree program in fashion merchandising who are interested in pursuing a career in academia or research might consider continuing their studies with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in specialized marketing, business, or fashion design. Some universities and professional organizations also offer courses and seminars for individuals who want to stay up-to-date on emerging practices and technologies in the field.
In summary, business-savvy students who are passionate about fashion can advance their career prospects by earning a master's degree in fashion merchandising.