Master's Degrees for Retail Buyers

You can study retail buying through a master's degree program in retail management or merchandising. Read on to learn about these types of programs, online availability, common courses, possible careers and the employment outlook. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Master's Degrees Would Help Me Become a Retail Buyer?

You can earn a Master of Science in Retail Management to pursue general supervisory positions. These programs provide a basic overview of management and business practices in the retail sector, such as purchasing and human resources.

You can also enroll in a master's degree program focused on merchandising. While you'll be able to learn about retail practices n general, most of your coursework will be focused on purchasing strategies, product displays and how to order inventory.

Degree Programs Master of Science in Retail Management or Merchandising
Online Availability Programs offered fully online
Common Courses Textile production, human resources, consumer behavior
Possible Careers Retail buyer, purchasing consultant
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 7% (retail sales workers);
2% (buyers and purchasing agents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are These Programs Available Online?

You can earn several types of retail master's degrees online, including those focused on general management and purchasing. However, traditional programs will allow you to participate in internships or work experiences, which allow you to learn about retail buying while building a resume.

What Can I Learn?

Regardless of what type of master's degree you pursue or whether you take courses in person or online, you'll learn about consumer behavior and factors that determine buyer satisfaction. General retail programs will focus more on human resources, employee retention and management practices.

You can also take courses that focus on information technology. These will teach you how to use different types of inventory control or purchasing software.

Some programs focus on a specific type of retail product, like clothing and apparel. If you're pursuing a master's degree with the goal of working in the fashion or consumer textiles industry, you can expect to learn about fashion trends, sizing and textile production.

What Careers Would These Degrees Prepare Me For?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects that demand in the general retail and clothing industry will rise by 7% between 2014 and 2024 - a trend that is tied to overall growth in the economy. Most career opportunities will be with wholesale and large chain superstores.

The BLS also expects demand for purchasers and retail buyers to rise by two percent between 2014 and 2024. While a degree isn't required for most retail positions, a master's degree will improve your employment opportunities. Some employers require a 4-year or master's degree for management and supervisory positions. After you earn a master's degree, you could find a position as a:

  • Retail manager
  • Salesperson
  • Merchandiser
  • Purchasing consultant

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

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  • Keiser University

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    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford