Fashion merchandising students learn about the foundations of the fashion industry, as well as principles of marketing, management, advertising, and business. A bachelor's degree program in fashion merchandising typically takes four years to complete and should provide students with the skills and knowledge to market and advertise new products.
Students learn how to read and analyze trends in the industry and anticipate consumer desires by utilizing consumer focus groups. Other courses teach students to understand the needs of retailers and merchandisers, utilize merchandising software and implement effective marketing strategies. Most baccalaureate programs in the field require that students complete at least one internship program in the fashion advertising and marketing industry.
A high school diploma or GED is needed to pursue a degree in fashion merchandising. Many schools will take an applicant's grade point average and/or personal essays into account.
Bachelor's in Fashion Merchandising Coursework
A Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising degree program combines both the practical, business elements and the creative elements of fashion. Courses range from operational procedures to an introduction and history of the fashion industry and might also include the following:
- Visual merchandising and foundations of marketing
- Product lifestyle planning
- Merchandise buying
- Fashion forecasting and consumer behavior
- Business law and economics
- Retail chain management
Several positions in the fashion industry are ideal for graduates of a fashion merchandising program. These positions often combine a strong understanding of marketing and merchandising with an appreciation of fashion. Some include:
- Fashion merchandiser or visual merchandiser
- Fashion retail management or showroom sales manager
- Fashion product developer
- Fashion planning consultant
- Advertising executive
- Account manager
Earning a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising may also lead to work as an advertising sales agent. As of 2015, these professionals made an median salary of $48,490 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment opportunities for advertising sales agents were expected to decrease 3% from 2014-2024, reports the BLS.
Fashion merchandising degrees can often lead to careers in the fashion industry, including fashion advertising.