Fully online bachelor's degree programs in retail management are available as four-year programs or as two-year degree completion programs. In addition to fully online programs, students can find these programs combining online classes with on-campus labs and field experiences.
Actual degree titles for this type of program can be found under a variety of names. Some schools offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Retail Merchandise Management, while other schools have Bachelor of Business (B.B.A.) programs that allow a student to choose a concentration in retail management. All of these programs strive to teach students how to use business and research skills to assess buying trends, choose vendors and manage all aspects of a retail operation. Degree completion programs may require a student to have earned an associate's degree prior to enrollment.
Full degree programs include general education studies in the curriculum. Courses related specifically to retail management include studies in:
This class is a study in the factors that go into how a consumer chooses a product. Aspects of consumer behavior are taught and students learn about searching methods and evaluation processes.
In this class, the student will explore various aspects of managing a retail store. Topics in this course include facility operations, information technology, merchandising policies and trend analysis.
Retail Management Principles
Students examine the retail industry through a ground-up approach. Subject matter covers store layout, merchandising, pricing and current issues for retail managers.
Career Information for Graduates
Although traditional advancement in the retail industry requires experience and capability, an ongoing trend has developed in which prospective employers are requesting associate's and bachelor's degrees for managerial positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), retail sales workers were predicted to see an employment growth of 7% for the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported annual mean wages for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers at $42,900.
Continuing Education Information
A master's degree in retailing is available for students who want to continue their education. Courses in the program include retail strategy, managerial statistics, customer relationship management and economics of business decisions. In addition to a bachelor's degree, students may need professional experience to enroll.
Aspiring retail managers may seek an online B.S. or B.B.A., both of which provide a broad overview of managing a retail environment. Students gain familiarity with a range of topics, such as merchandising and consumer behavior, and are prepared for supervisory positions in retail after graduating.