Two out of four employers in the fashion industry look for workers with credentials such as a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job competition is expected to be high given the relatively few new positions that open up each year and the amount of professionals who are attracted to the field. In this industry of sharp competition, choosing the appropriate degree could be a significant factor in increasing a student’s potential for landing that first fashion job.
Fashion design and fashion merchandising are two common degrees that students are pursuing through programs similar to those developed by Westwood College. Westwood College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design engage in activities such as designing custom garments, attending fashion shows to showcase sample work, and analyzing trends and customer preferences. Other graduates from Westwood College with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising are more often involved in activities such as product buying, visual merchandising (arranging store front displays), and retail management. Whereas fashion designers are the creative muscle behind the industry, fashion merchandisers specialize in the business know-how that helps products sell.
All careers in the fashion industry require some amount of fashion sense and creativity. However, there are specific character traits that tend to lead to success in either fashion design or fashion merchandising. Students who are highly creative, enjoy drawing, and prefer to be trend setters may do well to enroll in a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. By contrast, students who rely more on analytical skills, are attracted to the idea of owning a business or retail store. The analytically-minded students tend to observe fashion trends and not jump right into following the trends just because they are popular. These individuals may be more successful with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising.
Because consumer demand is growing for stylish clothes at an affordable price, the majority of new jobs for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design will be with design firms that specialize in making clothing for department stores and retail chains. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that many fashion designers will choose to be self-employed. For example, prominent fashion designer Vera Wang worked for several years within the industry and eventually chose to open her own business in order to develop a personally designed line of bridal gowns. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising may also choose to open an independent business or may be employed as managers of retail stores.
Choosing between a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising can be an important initial step towards a lucrative career in the fashion industry. Each set of skills taught by the two degrees are essential in today’s competitive market. Prospective students who whish to obtain further assistance at selecting the appropriate degree can contact Westwood College for more information. Students are also encouraged to visit College-Pages.com for a complete list of available programs and additional resources.