Associate of Science (AS): Fashion Merchandising Degree Overview

Oct 15, 2019

Students in an Associate of Science (AS) degree program in fashion merchandising can explore both the design aspects and business side of the fashion industry.

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Essential Information

In AS in Fashion Merchandising programs, students learn about optimizing product displays, managing fashion shows and suggesting stylistic choices according to client needs. These two-year programs also offer training in product development, including the selection of materials, labeling regulations and merchandise care, as well as computer systems used in the field. In addition, students can explore promotion, sales, marketing and advertising concepts. A high school diploma or the equivalent is typically required for admission, and internships are required through some programs.


Associate of Science (AS) In Fashion Merchandising

Associate of Science degrees in fashion merchandising train students to use current stylistic trends to maximize profit margins. Students can delve into themes of design, creation and product development. Many programs offer internships for real-world experience in the field and the opportunity to create professional portfolios. Some programs organize field trips to retail stores, manufacturing sites and fashion design studios.

In total, students must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework. Along with general education requirements, course titles could include:

  • Product evaluation, fashion history, fashion trends
  • Textiles
  • Promotion
  • Retail purchasing, merchandising, retail management
  • Culture in fashion
  • Fashion events

Popular Career Options

Graduates can seek employment with boutiques, department stores or fashion designers. They can also work in the business sector in fashion advertising, marketing or promotion. Job titles could include:

  • Personal stylist
  • Retail buyer
  • Fashion show coordinator
  • Publicist
  • Visual merchandiser

Fashion designers themselves, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earn a mean annual income of $87,610, as of May 2018. Assisting roles will likely bring in a lesser salary. To give some idea, the BLS reports that, across all fields, wholesale and retail buyers earn a mean annual wage of $68,440 per year, while public relations specialists bring in a mean annual wage of $68,440 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Graduates can keep up with the latest trends throughout their careers by enrolling in fashion merchandising certificate programs. They can also enhance their knowledge base by completing certificate programs in related topics, such as apparel design. Those interested in advancing their career opportunities can apply to bachelor's degree programs in fashion merchandising.

Through AS in Fashion Merchandising programs, students gain the essential business education and technical design skills that they will need in the fashion retail industry. Graduates can get entry-level jobs or continue to study fashion merchandising at the bachelor's degree level.

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