Online Fashion Merchandising Certificate and Diploma Info

Learn about online certificate programs with fashion merchandising courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

Online certificate programs in fashion merchandising or related fields like fashion business are not very common. A handful of certificate programs are offered at the undergraduate level, preparing graduates to seek entry-level work in visual merchandising, retail buying and store management. These programs may be offered 100% online or in a blended format that allows students to take both online and campus-based courses. Students may also have the opportunity to complete a voluntary internship. Additionally, there is at least one graduate-level online certificate program offered for individuals currently employed in the fashion field. However,online diplomas available in fashion merchandising are not typically offered.

Fashion Merchandising Certificate

Fashion merchandising programs combine work in textiles, business and fashion to provide students with a broad knowledge base. These courses can be found in marketing, fashion, business and art departments at community colleges and private institutions. It may take 1-2 years to complete a certificate program.

Program Information and Requirements

Certificates require completion of anywhere from 15-45 credit hours. Courses may be completed online, but other requirements, like internships, may not be completed via distance learning. Fashion merchandising programs usually require creation of a portfolio of work that may assist students in gaining employment after graduation.

Course Topics

Fashion merchandising students complete courses in fabrics, display creation and retail theory. Students explore consumer behavior and, in research courses, learn about literature reviews, field research and presenting information. The global marketplace and its affect on the fashion industry are other topics of exploration.

Visual Merchandising

From mannequins and props to lighting and fixtures, students learn to create interior and window displays. In these courses, students explore the connection between visually appealing retail displays and sales.

Retail Theory and Commerce

Students learn about communication, supply and demand and strategies to manage merchandise and employees. Topics covered include retail calculations and sales techniques.

Fabrics and Textiles

In this course, students gain an overview of the various fabrics used in fashion and household goods. Students learn about the characteristics of various fabrics and the design, use and care of textiles.

Career Information

Fashion merchandisers are often categorized as buyers and purchasing agents. Individuals in these fields earned a median yearly income of $59,620 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Continuing Education Information

Degrees in fashion merchandising are available at the bachelor's and master's levels for individuals who seek further education in the field. Some of these programs are available online and feature courses in textile science and business management. Programs may be found in fashion or business administration departments of a college or university.

There are options for individuals who are interested in pursuing an online undergraduate or graduate certificate in fashion merchandising, which will prepare graduates for careers as purchasing agents and buyers. Graduate certificates are generally designed for those who are already working in the fashion industry.

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