Is Fashion Design the Right Degree for You?

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Are you a creative person who enjoys putting together great outfits? This makes you a natural for the field of fashion design. This degree allows you put your style knowledge to work designing and creating clothing for consumers of all types. This is a competitive field that has the potential to be very rewarding for students who are willing to work hard.

Skills Gained from a Fashion Degree
Although you may get a head start on your degree simply by having a great sense of style, you can gain numerous additional fashion skills by pursuing a degree. Some of the core skills learned in the program include:

  • Understanding of different fabrics, textiles, and clothing ornamentation
  • Insight into the fashion industry and current trends
  • Basic business and marketing skills for the fashion industry
  • Clothing design skills
  • Style design skills (such as how to work as a personal stylist)

What a To Expect in a Course
People who get this degree typically attend either a two-year or four-year program. The course is usually one degree offered at a design or art school. Some of the specific classes that students take include:

  • Sewing and tailoring
  • Pattern making
  • Art history with an emphasis on the history of fashion
  • Design technology including computer-aided design
  • Business classes with an emphasis on entrepreneurship
  • Sales and marketing classes

Fashion Design Degrees
The core degree that students get when graduating from a fashion design program is in fashion design. However, there are related degrees that may be obtained from a fashion school as well. For example, there are specific degrees in footwear design and accessory design. There are also degrees for the business side of fashion including merchandising and marketing degrees.

Jobs for Students
Upon graduation, most students use their degrees to get into an entry level position in retail. Others begin to work as assistants to a working fashion designer. Eventually these designers become self-employed as fashion designers. Important things for prospective design students to know about the industry, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:

The number of jobs available in this industry is expected to remain steady between 2008 and 2018. Intense competition for fashion careers is expected during this time.

The states with the most jobs designers in the United States are New York or California.

The median annual wage for fashion designers in 2009 was $64,260. The majority of people working in this field are earning between $32,320 and $90,020.

The state of the economy has made it so that a vast number of consumers are interested in the option to purchase affordable clothing that is still stylish and attractive. The majority of jobs for fashion degree students at this time are in this area of the market. Students interested in high-end boutique design may have a tougher time getting a job in today’s market.

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