Online degree programs in fashion design, fashion merchandising, and retail management from accredited universities and colleges are available to you. Learn about knitwear, textiles, fashion journalism, visual merchandising, store design, menswear, global fashion industry, and more.
Art & design program in fashion are available at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree level, allowing you to choose the educational commitment that matches your career goals and lifestyle. Coursework will include basic fashion essentials including: color, textiles, fabric, ornamentation, design, sewing, sketching, etc. Because of the flexibility in online training options, you also have the opportunity to incorporate additional business and marketing classes into your curriculum. The introduction of computer-aided design (CAD) has also simplified some of the design and sketch aspects of fashion. However, it is only improved if you are experienced with the CAD systems and programs. Online training will allow you to familiarize and master CAD programs if you choose.
The courses for merchandising training typically put heavier emphasis on business and merchandising principles. In a training program you can expect coursework that includes tracking sales, profit margins, evaluating competition, and researching new trends. A background or experience in computer analysis will always be an advantage. The courses you study will not only benefit an organization, corporation, or store, but if you plan to work for yourself or for a small group the training would be crucial. Nearly a quarter of fashion designers are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and if you hope to sell your own product, career training in fashion merchandising could be a key strategy in your business plan.
Courses in retail management are diverse. Topics will include accounting, marketing, sales, staff management, company strategy, and retail operations. Many of the top executives in retail have held numerous jobs within the organization. A college degree with a business focus as well as training in retail management will prepare you for this fashion-forward industry. The BLS reports that large retail businesses usually prefer to hire college graduates as management trainees. Bachelor's degrees in retail management are a popular choice, and courses in communication, fashion merchandising, and business allow students to focus on the business aspects of the fashion industry. Because online shopping has become so popular, there are also vast opportunities in the online retail market. Deciding on your focus and specializing in classes that will sharpen your particular skills is invaluable. At the same time, you will want to have a well-rounded background of subjects.