Associate of Arts (AA) programs in either fashion marketing or fashion merchandising offer comprehensive training in marketing, retailing, promotion, advertising, fashion and business strategies. In addition to coursework, some programs require an internship in the fashion industry. Some schools also offer this degree online.
To apply, students need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent and have taken general education courses such as mathematics, social science and humanities. Applicants may also be encouraged to interview with school officials.
Associate of Arts in Fashion Marketing
In these programs, students are trained to apply the fundamentals of product development, brand management, public relations and publishing to the fashion industry. They learn the principles of design, such as woven fabric structure and fiber characteristics. Students may take the following courses:
- Principles of marketing
- Visual merchandising
- Fashion forecasting
- Retail management
- Business management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of fashion marketing associate's degree programs gain essential research, computer, design, communication and marketing skills for employment in a variety of entry-level positions, including:
- Merchandise coordinator
- Visual merchandiser
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
PayScale.com reported that most merchandise coordinators made between $33,000 and $56,000 per year as of September 2019. Visual merchandisers earned $30,000 to $68,000 annually at that time, while most buyers saw yearly wages of $40,000 to $76,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the job growth rate for merchandise displayers and window trimmers will be 2% to 3% from 2018 to 2028, which is slower than average. Similarly, buyers and purchasing agents rate is expected to decline by 7%, which is also slower than average.
Although promotion to many retail management positions depends on the length and quality of a candidate's work experience, once candidates are hired, companies may require them to undergo management training programs comprised of both classroom and on-the-job instruction.
Individuals planning on pursuing non-retail managerial careers in fashion marketing and promotions may benefit from obtaining a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field. Students in these programs may be required to take similar - but more comprehensive - courses than those in the associate's degree program. In addition to a bachelor's degree, individuals may also benefit from seasonal internships.
Overall, interdisciplinary programs in fashion marketing integrate studies in business, technology and design in order to get students ready for entry-level positions in the fashion industry or advanced studies in similar fields.