A bachelor's program in fashion merchandising teaches students about the process of moving apparel from the designer to the retail sales floor and into the hands of consumers. Schools may offer various degrees in this field such as a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Professional Studies, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Business Administration. Some of these programs also include opportunities for hands-on work experience such as internships or work study experiences. Most programs do not have special admissions requirements.
Bachelor of Fashion Merchandising
In a fashion merchandising bachelor's degree program, students can learn about advertising, promotion, store planning and visual merchandising while gaining exposure in retailing and catalog development. They also have the opportunity to build strong foundations in buying, inventory, stock control, product assortment analysis, budgets and distribution strategies. Some programs may include internships or work study opportunities so students can gain professional experience. Some topics covered in a program may include:
- Fashion retailing
- Fashion marketing
- Merchandise buying procedures
- Fashion merchandising concepts
- Predicting fashion trends
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a bachelor's program are ready to enter this field and work in retail department stores, boutiques, wholesale businesses and import companies. Individuals may also work with designers or manufacturers. Possible job titles include:
- Assistant buyer
- Product line manager
- Visual merchandiser
- Design development coordinator
- Market research trainee
Salary and Job Outlook Information
Data from PayScale.com reflected the following median annual salaries in January 2016:
- Assistant buyer - $43,209
- Visual merchandiser - $40,138
- Market researcher - $50,457
- Product line manager - $87,927
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that product line managers would see a slow decline in jobs from 2014-2024. Further BLS projections state that buyers are likely to see a 2% employment growth during that decade, which is also slower than the average rate. Jobs in the market research field are expected to increase by 19%.
A few programs at the master's level are available in fashion merchandising and related fields for individuals looking to build upon their studies. These degree programs typically add a research component to the curricula and may offer specializations within the field, such as historic textiles. Graduates may qualify for administrative positions or enter into university-level teaching positions.
Those students who earn a bachelor of fashion merchandising will be prepared to work numerous different kinds of career by reviewing courses such as textiles and fashion retailing. Internships help students build upon the knowledge they are taught in the courseroom.