Fashion Design Degrees

Advantages To Earning A Fashion Design Degree

A fashion design degree provides individuals with the ability to design, produce, market, and merchandise garments and accessories within a variety of settings. Students enrolled within a fashion design programs acquire the skills necessary understand the history of fashion, use computers and other tools, and create patterns, design prototypes, choose fabrics and textiles, and present a final product. Depending upon skill level and educational background, graduates with fashion design degrees complete every aspect of design and production, assign jobs to technical designers, and often promote and sell their final product. Many students specialize their degree in areas like costume design, fashion merchandising, fashion marketing, and fashion manufacturing to attain a more versatile education and advance to employment within multiple industries.

A fashion design degree is a sound educational basis necessary to propel personal and professional goals. Many students manage job and family responsibilities while pursuing a degree. Most colleges and universities have developed innovative online degree programs to extend education to students as they maintain work and home obligations. Most online degree programs provide great educational experiences with the added flexibility of course scheduling. Online classes offer groups of 25 students virtually the same instruction and materials as their traditional, on campus counterparts. Students enrolled within online degree programs receive a more personalized education with one on one access to instructors and other students. Online courses also give students 24 hour access to class information, instruction, and lessons. Online degree programs are quite often one of the best paths to a convenient, affordable, and quality education.

What Students Learn Within An Online Fashion Design Degree Program

Students enrolled within a fashion degree program gain skills and knowledge necessary to function as qualified professionals within the field of fashion design. Fashion design degree students learn the fundamentals of the fashion industry while gaining the knowledge necessary to create and produce garments and accessories. Most fashion designers are required to obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within the discipline of fashion design in order to meet requirements for employment.

Courses at an associate level include: fashion industry: marketing; fashion drawing; fashion construction: sewing; process and skills: fashion; fashion industry: design; fashion computer aided drawing (CAD); color theory; critical reading and writing; algebra; fashion textile survey; construction: pattern making; fashion technical drawing; construction: draping; fashion history; English composition; fashion techniques; introduction to psychology; and introduction to sociology. Graduates from an associate’s degree program may advance to entry level employment or advance their studies within higher degree programs.

Bachelor level classes include: critical reading and writing; 2D integrated studio; 3D drawing studio; perspectives in world art and design; fashion design; fashion digital studio; history, culture, and society; history of design 1850-2000; introduction to design studies; art history; fashion drawing; themes in fashion history; fashion industry survey; sewing and tailoring; algebra; global issues in design and visuality: 21st century; business seminar; and art and design history. Graduates from a bachelor degree program may advance to employment or attain a master’s degree.

Courses within a master’s degree program include classes such as: fashion design; fashion merchandising; fashion marketing; knitwear design; fashion journalism; menswear design; textile design; active sportswear design; visual merchandising; fashion studies: key concepts; fashion, history, and mediation; interpreting fashion; fashion cultures; advanced thesis preparation; ethics; and quantitative research. Graduates from a master’s degree program in fashion design often qualify as experts within the field.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Fashion Design Degrees

Fashion design degree graduates receive a well rounded education for long term, lucrative personal and career success. Graduates generally find employment the fashion, entertainment, or media industries. Many graduates who complete associate degree programs gain employment as assistant designers, pattern makers, assistant fashion stylists, sales associates, assistant fashion illustrators, marketing assistants, or wardrobe assistants within department stores, design firms, chain retail stores, wholesale apparel firms or even high fashion designers. Fashion design bachelor degree graduates often work as fashion designers, product managers, textile designers, knitwear designers, fashion merchandisers, knitwear merchandisers, knitwear accessory designers, fashion marketers, fashion journalists, retail store managers, retail store planners, marketing specialists, wardrobe specialists, visual merchandise managers, retail fashion buyers, product developers, and textile forecasters. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as upper level designers, consultants, researchers, or college instructors.

Salaries For Graduates With Fashion Design Degrees

Graduates who complete fashion design degree programs have earnings reflective of their educational level, skill level, work experiences, and geographic location. Earnings for graduates with fashion design degrees vary tremendously. As with most occupations, graduates who complete advanced degree programs, distinguish their skills with creative and stylish designs, and acquire work experience through internships generally have higher salaries than those who do not. Additionally, fashion design degree graduates often have earnings reflective of the organization of employment. Earnings for entry level graduates are often quite low until they gradually gain skills and experience as well as display their abilities within the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports earning for fashion degree graduates range from $42,150 to $87,120 annually.

Graduates with advanced degrees or work experience generally have much higher salaries than those without the educational and hands on experience. Fashion designers and other professionals within the industry who are salaried generally often have higher, more stable incomes than those just beginning their careers. Graduates with advanced degrees who work as upper level executives, instructors, or designers often earn at least $72,560 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Graduates With Fashion Design Degrees

Careers in the fashion industry are exciting, highly competitive, and rapidly changing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects little or no change in employment for individuals with careers in the field of fashion design. The BLS expects job growth to increase by one percent through the year 2018 in comparison to other occupations. Graduates who complete fashion design programs often find the best job opportunities within design firms, mass market clothing retail chain stores, and apparel wholesale organizations. Employment opportunities have declined within high end department stores and specialty boutiques as the demand for high fashion designs has decreased in relation to economic factors.

The BLS predicts jobs within the field of fashion design to remain mostly stable as an increased demand for affordable clothing among middle income consumers creates more jobs for graduates within the sector of apparel wholesale. Job opportunities for cut and sew manufacturers are expected to decline as much of the manufacturing is completed overseas. Fashion design positions are expected to remain constant as many designs are created in-house within U.S. firms. Graduates who specialize their education within footwear, accessories, knitwear, marketing, merchandising, and business oriented fields often find the greatest employability. Graduates within regional fashion centers located within New York and Los Angeles may find the best employment opportunities as the highest volume of jobs are based upon urban geographic locations. Graduates with fashion design degrees often build rewarding careers in the fashion industry.

Many graduates begin their careers within entry level positions as pattern makers, sketching assistants, or design assistants working under the direct supervision of more advanced designers and then advance to positions requiring more responsibility and decreased supervision. As graduates and designers gain more skills and knowledge pertaining to the field of fashion, they advance to chief designer or supervisory positions. More experienced designers often begin their own design companies or sell designs within self owned retail stores upon gaining adequate experience and funding. Established designers are employed within high fashion design corporations that provide personal designs to clients or work within colleges as instructors.

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