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Which Courses Are Required for a Fashion Merchandising Certificate?

Fashion merchandising certificate programs require roughly 30 credits of courses in areas like consumer behavior, textile science and merchandising. You can get more details about the specific courses required to earn a fashion merchandising certificate by reading this article.

What is a Fashion Merchandising Certificate?

Fashion merchandising is the skill of buying, marketing and selling clothes and fashion items: the business angle of the fashion world. Some fashion merchandising certificates are for people who have bachelor's degrees in other subjects, but want to gain additional certification in fashion merchandising. Other entry-level fashion merchandising certificates can help students who may later want to earn an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising or similar fields. Aside from general fashion merchandising certificates, some schools may offer more specialized certificates as well, such as those in product development, retail management or costume design. Graduates of fashion merchandising certificate programs often get jobs in retail management, fashion merchandising and purchasing.

Important Facts About a Fashion Merchandising Certificate and Career

Internships Internships required for some programs
Online Availability Programs offered both fully and partially online
Possible Careers Buyer, account executive, merchandise coordinator, showroom manager
Similar Fields of Study Fashion design, fashion design management
Median Salary (June 2019) $50,284*
Job Outlook (2016-2026 -3% (all purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents)**

Sources: *Payscale.com **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Textile Science and Design Courses

Certificate in fashion merchandising students are usually required to take at least one course on the composition and use of textiles. These courses teach students about the creation and properties of different fabrics, as well as further related information, such as domestic or foreign issues. Some programs also include some design courses, which teach students about how to use different fabrics and how to create appropriate garments for different uses. Courses may include:

  • Textile products
  • Textile science
  • Costume design
  • Apparel

Merchandising and Marketing Courses

In fashion merchandising and marketing courses, you could become an expert in selecting, purchasing and displaying apparel for retail stores. Many fashion merchandising courses require most of their coursework in this area. Courses focus on the business aspect of fashion like:

  • Fashion promotion
  • Business practices
  • Wholesale merchandising
  • Retail merchandising

Consumer Behavior Courses

You'll likely find that your fashion merchandising certificate curriculum includes courses about how consumers behave when it comes to fashion. In fashion and retail analysis courses, you'll learn to use theory, retail strategy and quantitative methods to determine what consumers will want to buy and how much they're likely to pay for it. Typical courses cover:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Fashion motivation
  • Cultural perspectives