Online Fashion Degree Programs

The fashion industry is a major field that involves many different specialties. Undergraduate fashion degree programs provide students with a broad education that combines the creative, technical, and business areas of the fashion industry to prepare students for a meaningful career in the ever-changing face-paced world of fashion. Students usually choose a specialization, but can often merge into different career areas. Read more about online fashion degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 1,948 bachelor and 2 master degrees conferred in fashion merchandising. There were also 237 bachelor and 1 master degrees in apparel and accessories marketing operations; 2,435 bachelor, 75 master, and 18 doctorate degrees in general apparel and textiles; 230 bachelor, 4 master, and 2 doctorate degrees in apparel and textile marketing management; and 1,827 bachelor and 63 master degrees in fashion and apparel design (1). In 2006, fashion designers held about 20,000 jobs with 24% being self-employed. Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents held 529,000 jobs. Sales worker supervisors held 2.2 million jobs with 44% employed in the retail sector. (2).

Employment Outlook

The career outlook for employment in the fashion industry differs by degree, discipline, and position. Employment of fashion designers is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 5% and adding 1,000 new jobs. Employment of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents are expected to have little or no job growth by 2016 and employment of sales worker supervisors is expected to grow more slowly than average, increasing by 4% and adding 91,000 new jobs (2).

Specialties

Fashion is a very large industry and offers a variety of specialties for students to focus their studies and pursue a variety of career paths. The fashion specialties include design, merchandising, promotion, marketing, distribution, buying, modeling, photography, exporting, importing, wholesale, retail, research, retail management, and pattern making. Students interested in a particular specialty should choose a school that has a strong program in that area.

What to Expect

There are a wide variety of fashion degree programs that are available for students. Fashion degree programs give students the building blocks to pursue a successful career in the fashion field. The coursework varies on degree and specialty, but many fashion degree programs include courses in fashion and textile vocabulary and terminology, consumer behavior and trends, human anatomy, fashion and art history and trends, balancing colors, proportions, textiles, and moods, drawing, pattern manufacturing, fashion production, teamwork, social, environmental and economic influences on the fashion industry, and fashion fundamentals.

The End Result

Fashion degrees provide graduates with endless opportunities in the fashion industry. Students who decide to advance their education and obtain a graduate degree will be prepared for higher paying careers in many different areas. Careers for fashion degree graduates include:

Visual Merchandiser
Fashion Buyer
Showroom Sales Representative
Fashion Editor
Retail Store Manager
Director of Product Development
Fashion Designer
Sales Associate
Fashion Technician
Fashion Consultant
Retail Merchandise Planner
Fashion Stylist

A fashion career will be rewarding for individuals with a strong sense of style and a sincere passion for fashion who enjoy keeping up with the latest trends. Fashion professionals use their knowledge and expertise to contribute to the fashion industry in a variety of ways.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

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