What Kind of Fashion Degrees Can I Get?

Mannequins wearing various fashion dresses and jackets

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in the fashion industry, it’s a good idea to start out by getting a degree in fashion. This will not only teach you about the industry and give you valuable skills, but it will give you connections and experience that will set you up for success in your first job after your undergrad. There are multiple degree options in the fashion world, but you can best ensure your long-term success by starting out with a bachelor’s degree in fashion. The internship and field learning experiences that will come along with your bachelor’s degree are some of the most important reasons to choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fashion; that being said, it can be tricky to determine which fashion major is right for you. Some of the most common fashion-related degrees are the business of fashion, fashion design, and textile design. Check out the explanations of each degree below to decide which is right for you.

The Business of Fashion

Degrees in the business of fashion are perfect for creative people with a sense for business and interest in fashion on a large scale. Once a garment is designed, it’s fashion business professionals who take that design to production and distribution. You might not be designing clothing, but you will be analyzing the market to predict future trends, creating and implementing marketing campaigns, selecting products to be sold by the company you work for, and pricing items appropriately for the market, among other things vital to the success of fashion companies. Degrees in the business of fashion can be good preparation for any job in the fashion industry, and you’ll likely get some hands-on experience as part of your degree in the form of internships and field learning experiences. Depending on your program, you might also be required to create a portfolio that proves you understand the demands of the market and that you’re up to date with the latest trends. If you’re a go-getter with a knack for style, consider majoring in fashion business.

Fashion Design

Degrees in fashion design prepare you for a number of jobs in the fashion industry—not just fashion design jobs!—by giving you a foundation of art history, garment construction, pattern creation, and trend analysis. They’re usually Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees focused on project-based learning and creative exploration, and as part of your degree requirements you’ll create a portfolio of designs that you can use to apply for jobs when you graduate. You’ll learn how to move a garment from concept to finished product, and you’ll likely have opportunities to put your new skills into practice in design internships with established companies.

Textile Design

Bachelors degrees in textile design teach you to select and create appropriate textiles for products, including clothing, accessories, and furniture. But instead of focusing solely on the aesthetics of a clothing item, textile designers study fabrics and other materials to determine how they’ll hold up against stresses and changes such as washing and stretching. Because of this, sometimes degrees in textile design are more science-based than other fashion-related degrees. You’ll learn how to design with current color, fabric, pattern, and production process trends in mind, and you’ll get hands-on experience through internships. Textile programs usually require you to create a portfolio of textiles you’ve designed so that you have something to show future employers.

What Degree Should I Choose?

What fashion degree to get depends on your fashion career goals. If you want to work in the design side of fashion, a degree in textile or fashion design would set you up for your first job. If you want to get a job in the business side of fashion or fashion media, you could potentially market yourself well with a fashion design degree or fashion business degree, like fashion merchandising. But these degrees aren’t your only options; depending on where you decide to go to college, there may be other fashion programs available to you, too. Here’s a list of some other fashion degrees to consider:

  • Fashion Journalism
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Accessories Design
  • Fashion Photography
  • Fashion Management

Whatever you decide on as your major, be sure to do it with your post-college career in mind. The fashion world requires portfolios and internship experiences that coincide with the jobs you apply for, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a degree that will set you up for success after graduation.

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