Online associate's degree programs in fashion merchandising are widely available and typically take one or two years to complete. Students can often finish them entirely online, but many schools do have optional or mandatory in-person requirements, including on-campus coursework, internships, cooperative work experiences, field trips and international study opportunities. A digital camera and photo scanning equipment will likely be necessary for the program. After earning their associate's degree, students may be able to continue their education and earn their bachelor's degrees in an additional two years, but bachelor's and master's level programs are rarely available online.
Associate Degrees in Fashion Merchandising Management
Students learn about textiles and the principles of merchandising, and they may be required to complete internships or cooperative work experiences. These programs can be completed in as little as two terms, or they may take as long as two years.
Program Information and Requirements
Fashion merchandising management courses can be completed almost entirely online, although some programs do require students to complete cooperative work experience at designated locations. Students may be required to attend field trips to New York, or they may be allowed to study abroad. Most of these programs are 50 to 70 credit hours, including general education requirements. Many of the courses in fashion merchandising have a fixed start and end date.
To complete an online learning program, students must have access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection. Schools may recommend a high-speed Internet connection and may require students to use additional equipment, including digital cameras and photo scanning equipment.
Studies of the fashion industry, merchandising planning and control techniques are emphasized in these programs. Students begin with an introduction to the world of fashion merchandising, advertising and color theory.
Introduction to the Fashion Industry
Fundamental courses on the fashion business introduce students to the relationships between apparel and textile producers and those who sell product to consumers and the retail industry. These courses may be split into subsections, like marketing and design, or they may have a wider scope.
Merchandising courses focus on the goals and roles of the merchandising team and the product developers, buyers and account executives. Students analyze and create merchandising plans while analyzing the techniques used in merchandising.
Textiles courses include studies of various fabrics and fibers, and students learn to identify the different fabrics. Patterns and the properties of natural and manmade textiles are also examined in these courses.
Upon graduation, students can find careers in retail purchasing and inventory management, product development or sales within the fashion industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, purchasing managers' salaries ranged from $60,830 to $172,950 (www.bls.gov) in May 2015.
Bachelor's and master's degrees in fashion merchandising are available for those who seek further education. Some bachelor's programs are available online, but the majority of them are not. Master's degree programs are available with concentrations in such areas as textile science and fashion merchandising. These programs are not available online. Either degree may be offered through a business administration or fashion department at an educational institution.
There are a large number of online associate's degrees available in fashion merchandising. The program focuses on an overview of the fashion industry, merchandising and textiles, and can be used as a stepping stone toward a future bachelor's degree in the field.