You should acquire any kind of work experience you can in a design studio. It is also beneficial to have a retail experience. Find opportunities on fashion companies’ websites and inquire at fashion houses, designers, department stores, and other retailers for work experience. Your university careers office can also provide details about work placements. It is essential to network with designers and companies to achieve employment. You should take advantage of the fact that many courses present you with opportunities to work with top fashion designers while you’re enrolled in your university or college.
Your degree level and specialty area will be significant to qualify for specific jobs with a fashion degree. You can pursue a career on the business side of the fashion industry by earning a BS or MBA in fashion management. In contrast, a BFA in fashion design prepares you to compete for creative positions within the industry.
Fashion degree holders typically find work in the following areas:
- Fashion design
- Fashion blogger or influencer
- Journalism in the fashion industry
- Designer buyer
- Textile designer
- Personal shopper
- Product manager
- Brand ambassador
- Designer of patterns
- Retail manager
- An expert in textile design
- Visual merchandiser
- Brand manager
- Marketing specialist
Fashion degrees outnumber available jobs, so landing a position in the field can be difficult, as explained in an article published by Business of Fashion. A fashion degree is highly competitive in the job market, so students should expect it. As most fashion companies are located in major cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, moving to such a city will help your job prospects.
Of course, the salary you will receive depends on your position and the area of expertise you possess. The fashion industry does not make much more money than business jobs in general. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that wholesale and manufacturing businesses and apparel companies were the most highly paid jobs in fashion. On the other hand, fashion studios, boutiques, and runways tend to pay lower wages but offer lucrative career perks like glamorous work, travel, and greater flexibility.
Associate in Fashion Design
Fashion is an industry where ability, ambition, and experience matter more than college degrees. That doesn’t mean that obtaining a deep education won’t boost your career prospects. However, an associate’s degree in fashion can also help you break into the fashion world, and you just need to work your way up the career ladder. During this two-year undergraduate program, you will learn the basics of the fashion industry, design principles, illustrations, and brand awareness. A fashion associate’s degree will qualify you for assistant fashion designer, assistant buyer, and sales assistant.
An associate degree in fashion may serve as a stepping stone toward a bachelor’s degree in the field. Upon earning your two-year degree, you will need to complete another two years of full-time education to complete your bachelor’s degree. After completing their associate degrees, many students then pursue their bachelor’s degrees part-time over 3-5 years span.
Bachelor of Arts in Fashion
Alternatively to (or in addition to) a BFA, some colleges offer a Bachelor of Arts in fashion. As part of a BA in fashion, students take courses in fashion design and liberal arts. You will take most of the same fashion-related classes as in a BFA program, including textile design and illustration. You will still take some technical courses, but you will take more general education classes instead of technical ones.
Students seeking a broader skillset may benefit from a BA in Fashion. You can earn a good salary in management jobs after you complete your general education requirements. You can also move into a different part of the fashion world (or an entirely different industry) with a BA rather than a technical degree if you so desire. The job prospects for a fashion BA include textile designers, fashion designers, and retail managers.
Bachelor of Science in Fashion
The business of fashion is a lucrative and interesting one. Students with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in fashion are typically trained in marketing or merchandising and understand all aspects of the fashion business. These programs prepare students for retail, purchasing, trend forecasting, marketing, merchandising, and brand development.
The study of style and influence and budgets and markets form the basis of this type of degree program. Fashion marketing and management degrees are perfect for folks with a flair for style and an aptitude for business. You’ll be well-suited to jobs such as e-commerce specialist, brand manager, PR officer, and fashion marketing manager if you earn a BS in fashion marketing and management.
Master’s Degree in Fashion
Master’s degrees in fashion aren’t required for employment in the industry, and they’re far less popular. Fewer than 4% of fashion bachelor’s degree holders earn their Master’s in fashion design or fashion marketing. If you decide to earn a master’s degree in fashion, you will be among the few who hold such an advanced degree. An advanced degree can launch your fashion brand, or it can help you advance in your career as a designer.
Alexander McQueen held a master’s in fashion, while other notable designers, such as Vivienne Westwood, succeeded without one. Taking a Master’s in fashion is an ideal field for those with high ambitions. In the top 10% of fashion designers, the BLS reports that they earn $155,470 per year, and a master’s degree can give you the skills to get to the top. If you’d like to teach fashion at a college, this degree is a good choice as well. You will gain a deeper understanding of fashion, specialize more, and build powerful connections in the fashion industry by completing this two-year degree program.
Another excellent option for those interested in fashion management and marketing is an MBA program focusing on fashion. MBA programs in fashion will focus more on the industry’s business side and address supply chain management and business strategy topics in greater depth. You can qualify for a top position like chief marketing officer or fashion channel director with an MBA curriculum heavily focused on business.