Fashion Design Associate Degree Program
Are you passionate about fashion design and want to explore a future in this field? This article gives you an overview of a common fashion design associate's program, complete with common courses in fashion business and drawing, and provides an overview of the fashion design job market.
What Are Associate's Degree Programs in Fashion Design Like?
In an associate's degree program in fashion design, you learn the fundamentals of clothing design and production, preparing you for entry-level positions in the fashion industry. You learn about textiles, fashion history and business through hands-on coursework and internships.
You can find associate's degree programs in fashion design at 2-year and community colleges and technical schools around the country. While fully online degree programs in fashion design are rare, you can find schools that offer some online courses. If you're already working, you can enroll in a program with flexible evening and weekend courses or part-time study. Accelerated degree plans are available at some schools, permitting you to apply undergraduate liberal arts, business and studio art credits you've already earned toward your degree requirements and allowing you to graduate in one year.
|Common Courses||Draping, sewing, fashion illustration, textiles, computer-aided design|
|Other Requirements||Internship, portfolio, student fashion show|
|Online Availability||Fully online programs are rare, but many schools offer some online courses|
|Median Salary (2018)||$72,720* (for fashion designers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||3%* (for all fashion designers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take?
In an associate's degree program in fashion design, you typically take courses that include fashion design, computer-aided design, model drawing, patternmaking, draping, sewing and clothing construction, fashion illustration, textiles and fashion business practices. Your curriculum also includes courses in the history of fashion and some general education courses, such as English and math.
Some programs are organized so that you build a portfolio of designs you can present to potential employers upon graduation. Others offer business classes for those students seeking entrepreneurial opportunities. Participation in student fashion shows and internships may be possible.
What Is My Job Outlook?
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition for jobs in the fashion design industry is expected to be strong. An employment growth of only 3% is expected between 2016 and 2026. The BLS went on to report that fashion design opportunities are expected to be most plentiful in mass-market fashion.
The BLS reported that in May 2018, the median annual salary for fashion designers was $72,720. Fashion designers in New York enjoyed the highest annual mean wage of $95,830, and the state of New York had the highest concentration of fashion designer jobs.