Merchandising programs are often offered by colleges and universities with extensive business, design, or fashion programs. Gaining admission to this program requires individuals to pay a processing fee and complete an application in addition to having a high school education. The submission of standardized testing scores may or may not be required.
Once enrolled, students can typically choose a concentration in design, textile sciences, or fashion. Merchandising students usually also have to maintain a portfolio of original material and can earn their degree in two years.
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Associate's Degree in Merchandising
This curriculum covers a range of subjects, such as business management, visual marketing, and retail operations. It also involves a number of courses in business, such as consumer behavior, and business administration. Many core merchandising courses cover textile production, sales, and communication, in addition to:
- Fundamentals of marketing
- Legal aspects of business
- Group psychology
- Computer applications in business
- Visual branding techniques
Popular Career Options
With two years of schooling, graduates can expect to acquire entry-level positions and work their way up to higher positions and salaries. Employment opportunities may ultimately include:
- Product coordinator
- Marketing representative
- Merchandise manager
- Market researcher
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
An undergraduate merchandising education can lead to a career in retail sales, fashion design, and corporate promotions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), first-line supervisors of retail sales workers were projected to see an 4% increase in employment from 2014 to 2024. The BLS also stated these supervisors earned an average yearly salary of $38,310 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
After completing an associate's degree in merchandising, individuals might want to consider pursuing additional education, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Aspiring merchandising professionals may wish to choose from majors related to business, marketing, fashion, design or the arts. Graduate-level education in these fields is also widely available.
An associate's degree in merchandising program teaches students the necessary skills to find work in a number of marketing careers, often with greater mobility than someone who has not earned a degree. Bachelor's and graduate degrees are also available for students wishing to continue their education.