Merchandise Buying Diplomas and Certification Programs

Merchandise buying diploma and certificate programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the world of retail sales. Students learn a variety of skills to prepare them for various retail jobs.

Essential Information

Merchandise buying diploma programs are designed to prepare students to work in marketing and management areas of retail sales. Students who successfully complete merchandise buying diploma programs will know how to identify, negotiate and purchase products from a variety of suppliers. Certificate programs are similar to diploma programs, but are more focused on entrepreneurial courses. A student wishing to open his or her own retail business would benefit from a merchandising buying certificate program. The only requirements for these programs are a high school diploma or GED and satisfactory ACT or SAT scores.

Diploma Programs in Merchandise Buying

Students will be able to prepare aesthetically pleasing displays, manage inventory, and maximize profits for their employers. These programs include extensive courses in math, artistic design, marketing, management, and communications. Students can expect to take classes in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Visual display merchandising
  • Business law for merchandise buyers
  • Microcomputer applications for merchandise buyers
  • Inventory control procedures

Certificate Programs in Merchandise Buying

These programs train students to regulate inventory, communicate with their customers, control merchandise pricing, prepare advertising displays, and work with a variety of vendors. Curriculum typically consists of the following classes:

  • Salesmanship for merchandise buyers
  • Small business management
  • Human resource management procedures
  • Business communications
  • Retail merchandising
  • Advertising and visual merchandising

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a diploma program can pursue careers as a:

  • Retail store manager
  • Merchandise buyer
  • Sales representative
  • Merchandising manager
  • Customer service representative

Students who earn a certificate are prepared to pursue a career as a:

  • Fashion merchandiser
  • Retail buyer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Consumer advocate

Continuing Education Information

Students who wish to further their education may pursue either an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in merchandise buying. Master's degree programs are available but not common nor generally required for a career in retail merchandising.

Diploma and certificate programs in merchandise buying teach students about sales and retail management. Students may choose to pursue a career in the fashion industry or in consumer relations, among other areas, and can advance their education through traditional degree programs.

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