Fashion affects many areas of our lives from the clothes we buy to the eyewear we choose to the linens we place on our beds. This means a wide range of occupations are available to those who have a love for fashion and a desire to work in one of its many fields.

Fashion Merchandising Occupations

From the part-time retail sales clerk to a Madison Avenue clothing designer, fashion's wide umbrella covers a long list of jobs. Retail buyers, trend analysts, consumer behaviorists and others are positions someone with a degree in Fashion Merchandising might find themselves employed as.

New Jersey college students can learn about the variety of career paths available. Let's look at three Fashion Merchandising-type career paths that are currently in demand.

Fashion Design - As recently as 2004, it was reported by the U.S. Department of Labor that two-thirds of all fashion designers reside in New York or California. (See This may mean considering a relocation to these or nearby areas such as Nevada or New Jersey. College degrees in Fashion Merchandising may be a requirement, depending on the position you're seeking. The U.S. Department of Labor states, "Employers seek designers with a 2- or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends."

Merchandising - The next time you enter a retail store, notice the windows, the mannequins and the fixtures close to the ceiling. These were all planned by merchandisers. With the intent of influencing consumer behavior, merchandisers design displays of various sorts in order to increase desire for the items being shown.

Retail Management - A retail store manager is responsible for overseeing every aspect of his/her store's operations. From ensuring the human resource department keeps the store well staffed to working with the advertising department to decide which items will be placed on sale, the manager must make the store run well while satisfying ever-changing consumer demands and turning a profit.

What Qualifications Are Needed?

Qualifications will depend a great deal on the position you pursue within the Fashion Merchandising field. The geographic location will also play a role. For instance, a company or store in Arizona may have an entirely different set of requirements than a company in New Jersey. College degrees can often be a requirement for occupations that are not considered entry-level.

Armed with ambition, a talent for fashion and a love of people, you can pursue any number of exciting positions in the Fashion Merchandising field.

About the Author:

Mike Churchill offers online marketing support for Gibbs College, a New Jersey-based college with a campus in Piscataway, offering programs in fashion merchandising and more. Visit

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