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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Fash­ion degrees offer var­i­ous spe­cial­iza­tions, from design and mer­chan­dis­ing to fash­ion com­mu­ni­ca­tions.
  • Grad­u­ates can enter var­i­ous areas with­in the fash­ion indus­try, includ­ing design, mar­ket­ing, and man­age­ment.
  • It’s cru­cial to choose pro­grams accred­it­ed by rec­og­nized bod­ies to ensure qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion and respect in the industry.

Those who want to work in fash­ion often go to school for a bachelor’s degree in fash­ion design. Some stu­dents choose fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing to expand their busi­ness knowl­edge and attract more job offers. These pro­grams include cours­es in design, art, fab­rics, tex­tiles and com­put­er-aid­ed design (CAD). Get­ting a for­mal edu­ca­tion enables stu­dents to cre­ate port­fo­lios that draw atten­tion to their tal­ent. Employ­ers use port­fo­lios to eval­u­ate a design­er’s cre­ativ­i­ty and skill.

A lot of the edu­ca­tion occurs offline both in com­plet­ing assign­ments and work­ing in an intern­ship. With­out work expe­ri­ence, new grad­u­ates may find a hard time get­ting an entry-lev­el role with their favorite design­ers. Intern­ships and work expe­ri­ence help stu­dent design­ers learn the fun­da­men­tals of design­ing and pro­duc­ing acces­sories and clothing.

So should you get a degree in fash­ion? Let’s start by exam­in­ing the fol­low­ing questions:

  • Which degree is best for fash­ion designing?
  • Is a fash­ion degree worth it?

Is a fashion degree worth it?

Every­body uses clothes, hats, shoes and acces­sories. Jew­el­ry, gloves, neck­ties and bathing suits are all fash­ion­able items that most peo­ple have in their draw­ers and clos­ets. Although there are many dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of fash­ion, such as com­mer­cial and haute cou­ture, all these items need inspir­ing design­ers to get them off the paper and into retail stores and fash­ion boutiques.

Fash­ion often refers to cou­ture cloth­ing and design­er out­fits. Appar­el often refers to cloth­ing pro­duced for mass dis­tri­b­u­tion. These are afford­able clothes that most peo­ple wear. Since the 1970s, the line between these cat­e­gories has blurred.

Peo­ple spend more mon­ey on cloth­ing than many oth­er cat­e­gories of dis­cre­tionary spend­ing. That makes it a great place for inno­v­a­tive design­ers because they can get back­ing and have a good chance of sell­ing the fin­ished prod­uct. In fash­ion, prod­ucts have short life cycles because con­sumers want to see new designs every sea­son, every year. That makes it tough to pre­dict how many items of each design to pro­duce in order to make a prof­it with­out hav­ing too much excess inven­to­ry on hand.

Accreditation for Fashion Programs

It’s crit­i­cal to choose accred­it­ed online fash­ion degrees because this ensures that you receive an edu­ca­tion that meets the stan­dards expect­ed by prospec­tive employ­ers. Online fash­ion degrees accred­it­ed by the rel­e­vant orga­ni­za­tions make it pos­si­ble to trans­fer cred­its to anoth­er pro­gram or to pur­sue a master’s in fash­ion design or merchandising.

The Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) pro­vides accred­i­ta­tion for online and tra­di­tion­al fash­ion schools. Employ­ers and aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions also respect degrees from schools that have been approved by the Accred­it­ing Coun­cil for Inde­pen­dent Col­leges and Schools (ACICS).

Col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in the Unit­ed States must be approved by one of the sev­en region­al accred­it­ing bod­ies. These orga­ni­za­tions eval­u­ate schools on a reg­u­lar basis and are orga­nized by geog­ra­phy, as fol­lows: Mid­dle States, North Cen­tral, South­ern, New Eng­land, West­ern and North­west. Agen­cies review the entire school instead of spe­cif­ic programs.

Types of Fashion Degrees

There are many types of online fash­ion degree pro­grams as well as areas of spe­cial­iza­tion. Review the online fash­ion degree pro­grams and spe­cial­iza­tions below to deter­mine which ones might meet your career goals best.

Fash­ion design. You can spe­cial­ize in sports­wear, menswear, knit­ted tex­tiles, and oth­er fash­ion design nich­es. Design­ing clothes involves doing the nec­es­sary research for your tar­get demo­graph­ic and mas­ter­ing skills such as fab­ric tech­nol­o­gy, draw­ing, com­put­er-aid­ed design, and pat­tern design. In order to cre­ate some­thing new, you need to learn about the his­to­ry of fash­ion and how clothes impact culture.

Fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing. Learn how fash­ion ranges trans­late to mar­ketabil­i­ty and man­ag­ing the pur­chas­ing process. Aspects of this degree include sup­ply chain man­age­ment, visu­al mer­chan­dis­ing, eth­i­cal issues and fash­ion textiles.

Fash­ion com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pro­mo­tion. Stu­dents in these fields learn about the visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion side of the fash­ion indus­try. These degrees focus on film, pho­tog­ra­phy, dig­i­tal media, music, social media, app design and styling. After com­plet­ing this degree, many stu­dents go on to work in fash­ion media, mar­ket­ing, pub­lic rela­tions and advertising.

Fash­ion styling. With a degree in fash­ion styling, stu­dents learn how to match fash­ion designs with make­up, hair in cloth­ing. Grad­u­ates go on to pur­sued sup­port roles in fash­ion shows, com­merce and the media.

Fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy. Stu­dents with have a pas­sion for fash­ion and pho­tog­ra­phy can learn about loca­tion shoot­ing, dig­i­tal image pro­duc­tion and edit­ing. Many grad­u­ates work for mag­a­zines, art gal­leries and adver­tis­ing firms.

Jew­el­ry design. This degree cov­ers jew­el­ry man­u­fac­tur­ing, design and mar­ket­ing. Stu­dents who study jew­el­ry design deal with pre­cious met­als, the design and cre­ation of cus­tomized pieces, and the intri­ca­cies of this bou­tique industry.

Fash­ion man­u­fac­tur­ing. Stu­dents who want to learn more about acces­sories such as cou­ture bracelets and neck­laces and sports­wear may find this degree suits them best. Acces­sories cov­ered in these cours­es include wal­lets, purs­es, boots, hats and belts.

Fash­ion con­tour. Stu­dents learn how to cre­ate intri­cate designs for inti­mate appar­el, lin­gerie, night­wear, swimwear and oth­er struc­tured cloth­ing. The tech­nol­o­gy used to cre­ate this includes 3D pro­to­typ­ing and grad­u­ates emerge with spe­cial­ized skills that may be in demand in their area.

Fash­ion jour­nal­ism. Stu­dents who love to write and have an eye for fash­ion can use this degree to seek jobs on the front fac­ing side of the indus­try. From print to broad­cast to online media, fash­ion jour­nal­ism grad­u­ates can find a vari­ety of jobs in the field. Skills mas­tered in these pro­grams include styling, live report­ing, fash­ion ter­mi­nol­o­gy, and pho­tog­ra­phy. Stu­dents also receive a firm foun­da­tion in fash­ion design.

Fash­ion man­age­ment. From gar­ment con­struc­tion to financ­ing a new fash­ion line, stu­dents mas­ter man­age­ment tech­niques such as sus­tain­abil­i­ty, mer­chan­dis­ing and social responsibility.

Some of the class­es that are uni­ver­sal to fash­ion degrees include the following:

  • Col­or Theory
  • Com­put­er Assist­ed Design (3D)
  • Visu­al Culture
  • Fash­ion Studio
  • Tex­tile Science
  • Life Draw­ing
  • Fash­ion History
  • Port­fo­lio Development
  • Brands and Identity
  • Busi­ness of Fashion
  • Fash­ion mar­ket research
  • E‑commerce
  • Trend analy­sis
  • Mar­ket­ing and promotion
  • Visu­al merchandising
  • Cos­tume design
  • Prod­uct development
  • Graph­ic Design

Certifications for Fashion

There are many online options for a cer­tifi­cate in fash­ion design, includ­ing Vil­li­oti Fash­ion Insti­tute. This fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate pro­gram gives stu­dents an in-depth look at the the­o­ry behind the fash­ion indus­try. Stu­dents also learn the skills need­ed to estab­lish a start­up by obtain­ing fund­ing and prepar­ing designs and sam­ples. Fash­ion design cer­tifi­cates often cov­er design and gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing along with cours­es that help stu­dents pre­pare for jobs in com­mer­cial or haute cou­ture relat­ed businesses.

Villioti’s online fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate empha­sizes the basics of design­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing fash­ion items. Stu­dents gain spe­cial­ized knowl­edge of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and learn how to suc­ceed as entre­pre­neurs. Grad­u­ates need these skills in order to prove them­selves to hir­ing man­agers in retail and fashion.

There are also many free online fash­ion design cours­es with cer­tifi­cates. Skill­share has sev­er­al excel­lent free online fash­ion design cours­es with cer­tifi­cates in gen­er­al fash­ion design and spe­cial­ty areas. Stu­dents who com­plete a fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate pro­gram have an advan­tage over job appli­cants with a gener­ic degree or no expe­ri­ence in the field.

With a fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate online, you can learn from home and set your own sched­ule. In this way, fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate pro­grams allow for much more flex­i­bil­i­ty than learn­ing in a tra­di­tion­al class­room set­ting. Many stu­dents attend free online fash­ion design­ing course with cer­tifi­cate to gauge their inter­est in the field. Fash­ion design cer­ti­fi­ca­tions enhance stu­dents cre­ative, copy­writ­ing, illus­tra­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy and mar­ket­ing skills. With a cer­tifi­cate in fash­ion design, Grad­u­ates can start their own T‑shirt design busi­ness or seek an intern­ship with a large met­ro­pol­i­tan fash­ion house.

Skill­share has sev­er­al fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate online pro­grams to choose from. Many of them don’t cost any mon­ey to attend. These fash­ion design cer­tifi­cate pro­grams require no for­mal train­ing and have much more flex­i­bil­i­ty than tra­di­tion­al degrees. For stu­dents look­ing for a free online fash­ion design­ing course with cer­tifi­cate, this is a great place to start.

Choose from one of the course providers below to begin your jour­ney into the fash­ion industry:

  • Fash­ion Pre­mier Academy
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Fash­ion Certification
  • IAP College’s Fash­ion Design Course
  • Coursera’s Learn Fash­ion Course
  • Sew It Academy’s Courses
  • Udemy’s Intro to Fash­ion Illus­tra­tion Course
  • Snapfashun’s Course

Although a free online fash­ion design course with cer­tifi­cates can bol­ster so your resume, it will not replace a for­mal degree and work expe­ri­ence. There are still many ben­e­fits to com­plet­ing free online fash­ion design cours­es with cer­tifi­cates. If your employ­er is ask­ing for cer­tain fash­ion design cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, you will prob­a­bly be able to find them online. Fash­ion design cer­tifi­cates are also a great way to expand your skillset into a cer­tain area or to show mas­tery of the top­ics cov­ered by the online fash­ion design certificate.

Careers in Fashion

Stu­dents may won­der what jobs with a fash­ion mar­ket­ing degree might appeal to them. it’s good to under­stand what jobs with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree are avail­able in the mar­ket. This will give you a good idea of what the job mar­ket will be like when you graduate.

What jobs can you get with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree? Let’s start with career oppor­tu­ni­ties you can get with a degree in fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing, such as the following:

  • Cos­tumer
  • Depart­ment Manager
  • Fash­ion Jour­nal­ist or Editor
  • Adver­tis­ing Copywriter
  • Fash­ion Adver­tis­ing Director
  • Fash­ion Consultant
  • Fash­ion Coordinator
  • Fash­ion Designer
  • Buy­er or Forecaster
  • Fash­ion Editor
  • Prod­uct Manager

When you study fash­ion, you may find many dif­fer­ent jobs. You may work on the busi­ness side of a fash­ion com­pa­ny rather than the cre­ative side.

What kinds of jobs are there in the fash­ion indus­try? There are a vari­ety of job titles in fash­ion. Dif­fer­ent kinds of jobs in the fash­ion indus­try include work­ing direct­ly in fash­ion or for pub­li­ca­tions that fea­ture fash­ion. Among the dif­fer­ent kinds of jobs in fash­ion there are all the tra­di­tion­al lay­ers of man­age­ment and sup­port staff. So, some job titles are very sim­i­lar well oth­ers might be tai­lored to spe­cif­ic com­po­nents of the industry.

What kinds of jobs are there in the fash­ion indus­try? Some of this depends on whether you have a fash­ion degree or also have a busi­ness degree, such as an MBA. If a stu­dent wants to move into man­age­ment, besides get­ting their feet wet with an intern­ship, they should have the aca­d­e­m­ic back­ground poten­tial employ­ers expect.

Job titles in the fash­ion indus­try include design­er, styler, pur­chas­er, direc­tor, man­ag­er, and many oth­ers. For stu­dents look­ing for spe­cif­ic job titles in fash­ion, it’s impor­tant to estab­lish career goals pri­or to choos­ing an online cer­tifi­cate or degree pro­gram. Dif­fer­ent kinds of jobs in the fash­ion indus­try require vast­ly dif­fer­ent skills. For exam­ple, stu­dents need to know how to sew as well as draw if they want to present fin­ished pieces to poten­tial investors or employers.

What kinds of jobs are there in the fash­ion indus­try? Dif­fer­ent kinds of jobs in fash­ion include every type of work­ing envi­ron­ment. so, if a stu­dent wants to work in a cor­po­rate office, they can find such a set­ting with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree?

Jobs with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree often require the abil­i­ty to suc­cess­ful­ly fore­cast fash­ion trends. What jobs can you get with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree? Many peo­ple lever­age this degree when seek­ing jobs in pur­chas­ing or get­ting back-office jobs in account­ing or relat­ed fields.

Jobs you can get with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree will take advan­tage of your diverse back­ground in busi­ness and cre­ative arts. Grad­u­ates who want to know what jobs you can get with a fash­ion degree should talk with the admis­sion staff at online schools and tra­di­tion­al schools to see where grad­u­ates cur­rent­ly work. Job titles in the fash­ion indus­try some­times have fun or unusu­al phras­ings such as cre­ative detec­tor or chief fashionista.

Obtain­ing an MBA along with your fash­ioned degree can widen your pull of jobs that you qual­i­fy for. When you under­stand how busi­ness works, you qual­i­fy for many more jobs with a fash­ion design degree. What jobs can you get with a fash­ion degree based on loca­tion? jobs you can get with a fash­ion degree vary based on loca­tion. For exam­ple, you can find a job eas­i­er in New York City than in Boise, ID.

Jobs with a fash­ion degree in fash­ion design include the following:

  • fash­ion journalism
  • fash­ion buyer
  • pat­tern maker
  • styl­ist
  • retail man­ag­er
  • visu­al merchandiser
  • tex­tile designer
  • blog­ger or influencer
  • brand man­ag­er
  • mar­ket­ing specialist

What jobs can you get with a fash­ion degree? Unfor­tu­nate­ly, accord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, there is a declin­ing job mar­ket for fash­ion design majors. That means that when you get out of school, you’ll be com­pet­ing with more peo­ple for the same num­ber of job open­ings. So, it’s impor­tant to fill your resume with things that stand out. You may have to be pre­pared to move to a major city such as NYC or Los Ange­les so that you can take advan­tage of greater job oppor­tu­ni­ties there.

What jobs can you get with a fash­ion design degree? Whether you want to write for a fash­ion mag­a­zine or become a store brand man­ag­er, you’ll need an intern­ship at a busi­ness that meets your career goals. Jobs in the fash­ion indus­try with a busi­ness degree include fore­cast­ing, finance and man­age­ment roles in fash­ion-relat­ed industries.

What kinds of jobs are there in the fash­ion industry?

  • jobs you can get with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree
  • jobs with a fash­ion mar­ket­ing degree
  • jobs you can get with a fash­ion design degree

Jobs with a fash­ion degree often require a con­cen­tra­tion in a par­tic­u­lar area. For exam­ple, LIM Col­lege has a fash­ion mar­ket­ing degree for stu­dents who want prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence about how to get their designs in stores and on run­ways. Cours­es in the pro­gram include how to fore­cast fash­ion trends and dri­ve up sales by find­ing the right mar­ket­ing chan­nels for tar­get cus­tomers. Stu­dents with fash­ion mar­ket­ing skills have a wide vari­ety of pos­si­ble career paths.

Jobs with a fash­ion design degree include the following:

  • FASHION MARKETING MANAGER: If you choose a job in this field you will be respon­si­ble for find­ing ways to mar­ket fash­ion brands. Fash­ion mar­ket­ing man­agers cre­ate adver­tis­ing cam­paigns and man­age social media and dig­i­tal chan­nels for appar­el and oth­er fash­ion prod­ucts. This job may involve going to new store open­ings and work­ing behind the scenes to orga­nize photoshoots.
  • FASHION BUYER: This is one of the more lucra­tive jobs in the fash­ion indus­try with a busi­ness degree. Fash­ion buy­ers are respon­si­ble for pur­chas­ing close to retail stores. If you have a keen inter­est in fash­ion and can use qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive data to fore­cast what cus­tomers like, you will do well in this field. Wrong orders can result in high left­over inven­to­ry and lost profits.
  • STORE PLANNER: What jobs can you get with a fash­ion design degree? If you want to work in retail, this posi­tion might be a good fit. Store plan­ners are the inte­ri­or design­ers that fit out new retail stores to make them more appeal­ing to cus­tomers. If you under­stand human psy­chol­o­gy and have a good eye for posi­tion­ing racks, man­nequins and dis­plays to attract the most atten­tion, this could be the job for you. The role demands cre­ativ­i­ty, quan­ti­ta­tive research and a deep under­stand­ing of the retail business.

Jobs you can get with a fash­ion design degree range from fash­ion hous­es to retail stores to cor­po­rate offices. It’s impor­tant to under­stand where you want to go so that you can tai­lor your edu­ca­tion and work expe­ri­ence to help you get there.


Accord­ing to the BLS, despite the declin­ing job mar­ket, grad­u­ates can still com­mand a respectable fash­ion degree salary. For exam­ple, a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree salary can exceed six fig­ures and aver­ages $32,000 and $53,000, depend­ing on the student’s expe­ri­ence. It’s impor­tant to note that begin­ning salaries in fash­ion can be quite low. Con­tin­u­ing your edu­ca­tion after a degree in fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing salary can help you make the leap to a high­er mas­ter’s degree in fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing salary.

Fash­ion design degree salary ranges depend­ing on loca­tion, expe­ri­ence, and edu­ca­tion lev­el. The aver­age fash­ion mar­ket­ing degree salary is $53,000.

Here are more exam­ples of fash­ion degree salary ranges for var­i­ous specializations:

  • Interns lucky enough to get paid might make a fash­ion design degree salary between $32,000 and $38,000.
  • The fash­ion degree salary for mar­ket­ing coor­di­na­tors aver­ages from $42,000 to $55,000 based on the type of com­pa­ny they work for and their geo­graph­ic location.
  • Fash­ion mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ists with less than five years’ expe­ri­ence make between $45,000 and $52,000. How­ev­er, with a pro­mo­tion, they can become fash­ion mar­ket­ing man­agers mak­ing $64,000 to $89,000.

Whether grad­u­ates start with a fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing degree salary or degree in fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing salary, they can boost their earn­ing poten­tial with a mas­ter’s degree in fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing salary.

Professional Organizations

Build­ing con­nec­tions is impor­tant in any indus­try. How­ev­er, it is the lifeblood of the fash­ion indus­try. In order to suc­ceed, you need to meet peo­ple who can give you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to show your tal­ents and help you devel­op your sense of style. Pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions are a great place to find men­tors and oth­er stu­dents with sim­i­lar inter­ests. List­ed below, find some of the largest pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for those in the fash­ion and appar­el industries.

  • Amer­i­can Appar­el Pro­duc­ers’ Network
  • Fash­ion Group International
  • Inter­na­tion­al Tex­tile and Appar­el Association
  • NRF: Nation­al Retail Federation
  • Coun­cil of Fash­ion Design­ers of America
  • Cos­tume Soci­ety of America
  • Asso­ci­a­tion of Sewing and Design Professionals

Now that you know what to expect from a fash­ion degree in mar­ket­ing, busi­ness, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and oth­er spe­cial­iza­tions, you can make the best deci­sion for your online or tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion plan. Keep in mind that, although the indus­try is some­what crowd­ed at the moment, peo­ple with pas­sion can inspire con­fi­dence wher­ev­er they go.

Remem­ber that you can use online fash­ion cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and master’s degrees to sup­ple­ment your expe­ri­ence and edu­ca­tion. In a com­pet­i­tive field, it’s impor­tant to get what­ev­er edge you can over oth­er job appli­cants vying for the same positions.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Fashion

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Fashion

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Fashion

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Fashion