Associate Degrees in Merchandising: Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Merchandising programs are often offered by colleges and universities with extensive business, design, or fashion programs. Gaining admission to this program requires individuals to pay a processing fee and complete an application in addition to having a high school education. The submission of standardized testing scores may or may not be required.

Once enrolled, students can typically choose a concentration in design, textile sciences, or fashion. Merchandising students usually also have to maintain a portfolio of original material and can earn their degree in two years.

Associate's Degree in Merchandising

This curriculum covers a range of subjects, such as business management, visual marketing, and retail operations. It also involves a number of courses in business, such as consumer behavior, and business administration. Many core merchandising courses cover textile production, sales, and communication, in addition to:

  • Fundamentals of marketing
  • Legal aspects of business
  • Group psychology
  • Computer applications in business
  • Visual branding techniques

Popular Career Options

With two years of schooling, graduates can expect to acquire entry-level positions and work their way up to higher positions and salaries. Employment opportunities may ultimately include:

  • Product coordinator
  • Publicist
  • Marketing representative
  • Merchandise manager
  • Market researcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

An undergraduate merchandising education can lead to a career in retail sales, fashion design, and corporate promotions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), first-line supervisors of retail sales workers were projected to see a 5% decline in employment from 2019 to 2029. The BLS also stated these supervisors earned an median yearly salary of $41,580 in May 2020.

Continuing Education Information

After completing an associate's degree in merchandising, individuals might want to consider pursuing additional education, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Aspiring merchandising professionals may wish to choose from majors related to business, marketing, fashion, design or the arts. Graduate-level education in these fields is also widely available.

An associate's degree in merchandising program teaches students the necessary skills to find work in a number of marketing careers, often with greater mobility than someone who has not earned a degree. Bachelor's and graduate degrees are also available for students wishing to continue their education.

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