Associate of Science (AS): Fashion Design and Marketing Degree Overview

Associate of Science (A.S.) programs related to fashion design and marketing provide a foundation in merchandising, design, and fashion history. Students develop the skills needed to create merchandising campaigns.

Essential Information

Associate's degree programs in fashion design and marketing may be offered at community colleges, technical schools and fashion institutes. They may be found as an A.S. in Fashion Design or A.S. in Fashion Merchandising degree. Students create portfolios of their designs to be used for display to potential employers. Many of these programs also include internships and workshops, where students learn to promote themselves to potential employers in the industry. Applicants must have high school diplomas or the equivalent for admission to the program. Upon completion of the program, graduates may pursue career opportunities with apparel wholesalers, design firms or department stores.

Associate's Degree Programs for Fashion Design and Marketing

Workshops and internships teach students about buying, marketing and management. In addition to basic art and design courses, common course topics include:

  • Sewing construction
  • Fashion techniques and marketing
  • Fashion CAD (computer-aided design)
  • Consumer behavior
  • Visual merchandising
  • Fashion or retail buying

Popular Career Options

Graduates of fashion design and fashion merchandising Associate of Science programs may start their careers as sketching assistants or patternmakers and earn then advancements through on-the-job experience. Possible career titles include:

  • Fashion assistant
  • Fashion designer
  • Clothing designer
  • Haute couture designer
  • Fashion merchandiser
  • Fashion marketing executive

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 3% increase is projected for fashion designers for the period of 2014-2024, slower than the average for all industries. Fashion designers earned a median salary of $63,670 as of May 2015. Salary data from shows that in January 2016, assistant fashion designers had a median annual income of $39,358, while fashion merchandisers made a median salary of $50,393.

Continuing Education Info

After completing an associate's degree, prospective fashion designers or marketers may choose to advance their education and pursue bachelor's degree programs in fashion design or fashion merchandising. Programs are available that encompass both design and marketing. These programs may include coursework in retail management, fashion illustration, draping and fashion accessories.

Students wishing to begin entry-level careers in fashion design and marketing can pursue an A.S. degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising. After graduation, students may begin careers in fashion or go on to complete a bachelor's degree.

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