Choosing your industry or profession at a young age can be difficult. Nonetheless, having a fashion merchandising degree will keep you employed for many years to come. A fashion merchandising degree is so valuable mostly due to the number of people that are able to graduate with one and the demand for great employees. Although fashion is a competitive field in general, fashion merchandising is actually much easier to penetrate.
The reasons for this are manifold. First of all, a fashion merchandising degree can sometimes be very expensive. Attending the Parsons School of Design in New York City, New York can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a four year degree. Many students are unwilling to go into hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt for a fashion merchandising degree. Even public schools like the Houston Community College System cost a great deal of money.
Why are fashion merchandising degrees so expensive? Well, the costs of college educations are rising as a whole, but the amount of materials needed for practicing fashion merchandising is astronomical. To understand this you must consider how much practice is required to fully master designer fashions and creating garments that can be sold to consumers.
Therefore, the number of people who end up with fashion merchandising degrees is already few because of high costs. For those who have graduated with their degrees, there are a number of things that can be done straight out of college.
First, you will want to find an internship or entry level job that you can learn about the industry. You may have to re-learn much of the information you learned while you were in college, but real world experience is usually this way. Getting your fashion merchandising degree will help you understand some of the theoretical issues within the industry, but only job experience can teach you how the industry works today. Additionally, your internship or entry level job may not pay well, but will be a fantastic learning experience for your career. Do not simply spend your time trudging through the job, but make sure to learn the industry and find a specific niche that you can focus on.
After you have spent some time at an internship you have a decent fashion merchandising resume to advance your career to the next step. Having some prior job experience and a fashion merchandising degree will allow you to pursue some positions in higher level firms. In order to really advance your career you should debate moving to a city that has a large fashion industry. In the United States you could move to Los Angeles or New York City, but there are also locations in Europe such as Rome and Paris.
Once you get into these positions your fashion merchandising degree will mean much less. Depending on where you went to school that could be a good or a bad thing. Either way, getting a fashion merchandising degree is the first step to having a successful career.