May 11, 2016
If you have a passion for fashion and can most often be found buried in the latest issue of Vogue or checking out the colorful new collections of clothing in the mall and how they're displayed, chances are a degree in fashion merchandising management will be a great fit for you.
While fashion merchandising often involves the design side of the industry, working in this specialized world - especially with a degree in fashion merchandising management - takes on a more retail-oriented approach to garments and accessories. You'll focus on what makes customers respond to new lines, build eye-catching visual displays and be neck-deep in what's the hot for the upcoming seasons.
Excited with the prospect of being on the pulse of this fascinating industry? Take a look at Southern New Hampshire University's online bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising management and see if this program could be the Launchpad for personal success that you've been seeking.
Fashion merchandising is a broad term that refers to any of the retail duties associated with stocking, promoting and selling apparel. Some of the responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of fashion merchandising include:
As a fashion merchandising professional, you'll combine your love of apparel with a business-oriented mindset to help brands gain exposure and increase revenue. The diverse nature of this fields means that your workplace could be a traditional office, a retail store, a label's corporate headquarters, a trade show - or all of the above. You could be meeting with designers to discuss upcoming collections one day, then visiting a textile supplier for a quality check the next day. This fascinating area of study allows you to explore any aspect of the fashion industry's exciting business sector.
You'll see the effects of your work all around you. From the clothing stores you pass on your way to work, to the outfits colleagues are wearing, the efforts of dedicated fashion merchandising professionals affect all of us. This is an industry that seldom sleeps; it's always on the lookout for committed, qualified professionals to join its workforce. A degree in fashion merchandising management establishes you as someone serious about success in this vibrant field.
According to a report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, fashion has always been a major investment for Americans. Fashion is also an international field with a global value of $1.2 trillion. In the U.S., $250 billion is spent on fashion annually, and the field employs over two million professionals, according to the report.
While New York and Los Angeles are often touted as the country's fashion headquarters, this field is booming across the nation. States like Ohio and Tennessee are establishing themselves as major players in the retail game, while Texas and Washington are emerging as hotspots for trendy fashionistas to flex their creative muscles.
The rise of e-commerce has made it possible for remote workers to be a part of this growing industry as well. Just because you're located hundreds of miles from 5th Avenue doesn't mean you can't build a robust and successful career in the fashion world - and while you may be far away from traditional college programs offering a face-to-face degree in fashion merchandising management, with SNHU's online bachelor's, you're ready to advance in the field you love, no matter where you live.
Not only are fashion-related careers pervasive in the U.S., they also provide a comfortable living. The report from the Joint Economic Committee noted that the apparel manufacturing sector employs nearly 144,00 people across the country, in various roles. Examples of growing occupations in this realm include fashion marketing specialists, who make an average of $59,750 annually and production coordinators, who earn an annual average salary of $53,800.The wholesale apparel merchandising sector also has plenty to offer to dedicated fashion enthusiasts looking to leverage their interests into lucrative careers. This field employs around 141,000 people in the U.S., from planning clerks who make an average of $47,630 to display installers who earn $43,440.
A natural career path for many with a degree in fashion merchandising management is the retail sector, which is the largest employer of fashion professionals in the country nearly 1.5 million people in the U.S. lend their talents to this field. While you might associate the term "retail" with entry-level sales associate positions, this industry is host to many higher-paying positions. The report pointed to buying and purchasing agents, who earn average annual salaries of nearly $57,000, as well as marketing and sales managers, who make around $87,000 per year.
If you're considering a degree in fashion merchandising management, here's a look at what your day-to-day duties could look like post-graduation in some of today's top merchandising careers:
Distinguish yourself in today's competitive job market by earning your online Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising Management at SNHU. This degree program, which was developed with the help of industry professionals, exposes you to a spectrum of fashion-related courses that will prepare you for real-world success.
You'll study essential building blocks of the retail world, such as color theory, textile theory and fashion marketing, all of which will lay the foundation for your future career. You'll also learn more about the business side of retail by studying consumer behavior, retail processes, store management and merchandise planning.
Your instructors have had years of experience in the retail world, so they're truly experts about how the creative, business and technological aspects of the industry overlap. They're also ready and eager to share this insider knowledge with you. As part of your online degree in fashion merchandising management experience, you'll also complete an internship. Not only will this hands-on experience help you decide on your career path within the retail world, but it will also bolster your resume and make you a desirable candidate for employers. Many SNHU graduates have gone on to work with big-name retailers, from athletic brands to luxury labels, and SNHU's current merchandising students are actively working toward ambitious goals.
By enrolling in SNHU's online bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising management, you're joining an educational community that's committed to your professional success. You'll be given unparalleled support in the form of flexible programs and dedicated advisors, who will go above and beyond to help you achieve your goals. SNHU prioritizes working professionals when designing classes and establishing degree requirements, which means that you won't have to uproot your life to earn a valuable diploma.
As an online student, you'll notice the SNHU difference right off the bat. By taking courses in a digital setting, the world becomes your classroom. As long as you have Internet access, you can log on to your virtual campus and connect with instructors, advisors and other students from any location. You can complete assignments whenever - and wherever - works for you and your busy schedule. Have an hour-long lunch break? Use it to brush up on color theory and review its impact in today's fashion world. Worried about wasting time at the laundromat? Check your homework assignment and chat with your advisor while you wait for your clothes to dry.
SNHU's flexible approach to education is also evident in the value that's placed on experience and credits you may have already earned. Getting your degree in fashion merchandising management from SNHU doesn't mean you need to start from square one - you can transfer up to 90 credits toward your diploma. Not having to repeat fundamental courses that you've already completed means you can dive right into learning new information about the fashion world.
One of the greatest advantages of earning your degree online with SNHU is that you'll work with trusted advisors who are wholly committed to your academic and professional success. Your advisors will work with you side-by-side to determine your goals, interests and abilities as they relate to your desired industry. They'll guide you through designing an academic plan that you feel comfortable pursuing, and they'll help you make adjustments if your circumstances change.
Because the fashion merchandising management degree program is online but requires an in-the-field internship, advisors will be especially useful as you work toward graduating with your degree in this field. They'll help you identify potential interning opportunities and make sure you're choosing a position that will benefit you.
Assisting you with locating beneficial internships is only one of the many ways that your advisors will be there to help you every step of your academic journey. The high level of attention and commitment that SNHU advisors - both academic and career advisors - give each and every day has helped many students stay on track with their academic and career goals.
Take Shaundreka Hearne, who is set to graduate in 2016 with her BS in Fashion Merchandising Management. Hearne first gained an interest in the fashion business right after high school, when she started designing jewelry. She eventually turned her attention to creating clothes, and then realized that she wanted to shift her focus to the business side of the industry. She decided to pursue a career in merchandising, and chose to learn about this dynamic field through an online degree program with SNHU.
"My time here at SNHU has exceeded my expectations; I never took online classes and didn't know what to expect," said Heane. "Anyone that I have come in contact with, especially my advisor, has been extremely professional and helpful, they go above and beyond. I am happy to be here and look forward to each experience."
Hearne's sentiments are echoed by fellow fashion merchandising management student Lakesha Sheard. Sheard began her academic journey in 2003, but encountered roadblocks that caused her to pause her education. She tried once again to complete her degree in 2012, but her program's traditional on-campus class structure wasn't working with her busy life. The experience left her looking for a more viable route that would allow her to reach her retail dreams.
"Since I was young, I have always wanted to work in the fashion industry. It has been the one passion of mine that has never changed. As I got older, I thought I was too old to enter the industry or even continue to pursue my dream," said Sheard.
When the mother of two heard about SNHU, she jumped at the chance to learn more about the fashion world in a flexible format. "Not many schools in my area have my major. Imagine my joy to find an online university that met my needs," she said.
Sheard noted that her academic advisor, Joseph, has been an extremely influential part of her continued success. No matter what question or issue she encounters, she knows the answer is just an email or phone call away. With her sights set on a robust career in the fashion merchandising industry, Sheard is confident that SNHU's career-oriented courses and committed advisors will help get her there.
Earning your diploma doesn't mean that your SNHU journey has come to an end; in fact, your partnership with SNHU has only just begun. Even before you've completed your degree in fashion merchandising management, you'll work with an SNHU Career advisor to find employment opportunities in your area. No matter where you call home, your career advisor will be able to guide you toward available positions that work for you. Wherever you want to apply your fashion merchandising knowledge, SNHU will help you find a great fit.
Your career advisor will help you create a resume, draft cover letters and prepare for interviews. They can also assist you with tapping into SNHU's vast network of alumni, many of whom have gone on to successful fashion merchandising careers. Like the relationship you form with your academic advisor, the bond you forge with your career advisor will be one of support, encouragement and celebration. They'll put their extensive knowledge of the job market to use, assisting you in putting your degree to work in the field you love.
Interested in getting your fashion merchandising career off the ground? Learn more about how SNHU can help you leverage your passion for fashion toward creating a rewarding academic experience and professional career. Contact the SNHU admission team today to learn more.
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