Fashion Design: Overview of Common Adult Education Programs

Adults seeking a career in fashion design can enroll in workforce training or certificate programs. Read about the types of programs available, including course requirements, and get career information.

Students wishing to work in fashion design can find several available programs to develop their skills in the field. Here we discuss a couple of the schools and available programs for adult learners.

Program Information

Although a bachelor's degree is usually needed to work as a fashion designer, adults looking to enter the field do have some options in the form of workplace training and certificate programs. These programs can not only help you acquire the necessary skills and experience to begin a career in fashion, but may also provide you with an opportunity to make important contacts in the industry via your instructors or internships. Programs in fashion design typically cover the basics of design, as well as the production and business side of the industry. Due to the hands-on nature of the field, most programs are offered on-campus.

Schools At A Glance

The New School

  • This 4-year, private school is located in New York, NY.
  • The school offers continuing education and standalone courses in fashion design.

Moore College of Art & Design

  • Also a 4-year, private institution, this school is located in Philadelphia, PA.
  • The school has fashion design certificate programs and standalone courses.

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The New School

Located in New York, The New School provides many opportunities for the adult learner looking to learn about fashion design. Their Open Campus offers a variety of continuing education courses throughout the year.

Design Sketching Courses

This basic course teaches students fundamental sketching techniques and practices. Students use a live model to draw, model, and render designs. This course can be applied toward the fashion design certificate.

Sewing Course

This course allows students to experiment with actual materials. Students in this course will gain basic skills such as cutting, constructing, and finishing. Students will also experiment with fabric selection and practice common sewing techniques.

Fashion Trends Course

In addition to understanding the process of designing a garment, fashion designers must also understand stylistic preferences. This course analyzes fashion trends both current and past, providing students with an understanding of the past and future of fashion.

Moore College of Art & Design

Moore College of Art & Design offers a fashion studies certificate program for adult learners looking to study fashion design. The school offers two study tracks. In addition, students who don't want to complete a certificate program can take any required certificate courses on an individual basis. These programs and courses are designed to enhance a student's resume and portfolio.

Apparel Construction Track

This track is much more hands-on and is intended for students looking to acquire advanced skills related to garment construction. This track is ideal for students with a desire to create custom apparel or start businesses of their own. Coursework focuses on sewing techniques and pattern making.

Technical Design Track

Students who choose this track can obtain expertise in current fashion technologies. They learn how to translate concepts into complete packages that satisfy a fashion designer's vision. Students take courses in CAD and digital design. This program can also lead to a number of promising job prospects, as technical designers are in high demand in the fashion industry.

Adult education options in fashion design are most readily available as certificate programs and individual courses. Some programs offer different tracks or specializations that lead to a variety of careers in the field, including fashion or technical designers.

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