Associate Degrees in Merchandising: Program Overviews

Merchandising is a field of study related to business and advertising, focusing on a range of skills for promoting economic activity. Associate's degrees allow students to learn about technological skills in digital imaging and desktop publishing.

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Essential Information

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.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Merchandising and Buying
  • Merchandising Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
  • Retail Operations Management
  • Sales Operations

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
  • Publicist
  • 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.

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