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What Can I Do with a Graduate Degree in Retail Management?

Though work experience weighs heavily in the retail management job market, the most desirable candidates usually have formal education as well. Merchandising manager and buying director are two potential job titles for those with graduate degrees in retail management.

Retail Management Jobs

A graduate degree in retail management prepares professionals for senior-level positions in the field. One such job is merchandising manager. A merchandising manager studies buyer behavior and preferences and devises display and stocking plans that will maximize retail establishments' sales. Buying director is another possible position for individuals with graduate degrees in retail management. Buying directors purchase and trade products for retail establishments, varying from food to clothing.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay (2018)$118,940 (for purchasing managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)5% growth (for purchasing managers)
Work EnvironmentMost purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents work in the manufacturing industry. Most work full time in offices, some working overtime; some travel may be necessary, including international travel.
Similar OccupationsLuxury Marketing, Product Management, Advertising and Marketing Managers, Sales Representatives

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Typically, the only educational requirement for a career in retail management is a high school diploma or the equivalent, but both associate's and bachelor's degree programs in the field are widely available. Additionally, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in retail management is an excellent option for advancing one's career. A handful of U.S. schools also offer Ph.D. programs in retail management.

Master of Business Administration in Retail Management

An MBA is widely considered the standard for success in the business world. It's also an ideal degree for anyone interested in a management career, regardless of industry. An MBA with a concentration in retail management typically incorporates classes in accounting, economics and finance with courses in marketing and management. However, the majority of these programs are offered abroad, most commonly in India and parts of Europe. That said, some of the nation's elite schools, like the New York University, offer master's programs with concentrations in retail management or have successfully placed graduates of their master's programs in retail management positions.