Guide to Online Fashion Degrees
Our list of popular online fashion schools highlights online degrees in fashion merchandising, fashion business, fashion design, and fashion marketing. Online fashion degrees include classes in merchandising, sourcing, textiles, and the history of fashion. Students interested in an online fashion degree will find options at a range of schools from public universities to vocational schools.
Prior to enrolling in a fashion degree program, prospective students should verify that their chosen institutions are accredited. Accreditation helps to ensure students that their fashion program meets national academic standards and will equip them with the proper knowledge and skills needed to excel in their future positions.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Fashion Bachelor's Degrees
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|# 1||Southern New Hampshire University Online||$9,600||62% (404 reviews)|
|# 2||Liberty University||$11,700||58% (298 reviews)|
|# 3||Johnson & Wales University-Online||$13,365||0% (1 review)|
|# 4||Central Michigan University||$24,120||50% (4 reviews)|
|# 5||Fashion Institute of Technology||$16,490||Add Review|
|# 6||Academy of Art University||$23,412||30% (37 reviews)|
|# 7||The Art Institutes||$18,382||21% (14 reviews)|
|# 8||Berkeley College||$26,500||0% (1 review)|
|# 9||LIM College||$27,810||Add Review|
|# 10||Lindenwood University||$18,100||Add Review|
|# 11||Old Dominion University||$30,840||64% (11 reviews)|
|# 12||Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design||$19,670||Add Review|
Overview of Online Fashion Degrees
There are many degree options available to those who wish to pursue a career in fashion. An associate degree will take students two years to complete and will prepare them for entry-level positions in areas such as design, marketing, and buying. Students can take their education to the next level by entering a four-year bachelor's program. This will make graduates more competitive within the field. Participating in a master's program will help professionals become more skilled in their specialization, and takes on average two years to complete. Graduates holding a master's will be eligible for above entry-level and even leadership positions. It will also better prepare individuals who aspire to open their own business or fashion line. There are also certificate degree options available for those who don't want to commit to a full degree program. Earning a certificate will give graduates the skills needed to begin their careers at entry-level. Generally these programs take two years or less to complete.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Fashion
Students looking to further their knowledge and skills will want to consider continuing their education and pursuing an online bachelor's degree in fashion design. Participants will typically be required to complete 120-132 credit hours to graduate with their bachelor's degree. Students will learn about the history of fashion and how it has impacted the modern industry. They will complete coursework that is well balanced giving participants equal education in both the creative and business side of fashion. Key courses include design, apparel construction, merchandising, textile, and knitwear. Students will also be introduced to the top computer software programs that are important within the industry and will be vital in the graduate's profession upon graduation.
Applicants applying for a bachelor's program in fashion design should first show a strong interest in fashion. Also required in the application process is a high school diploma or GED along with transcripts. If the applicant has attended college previously, their college transcripts will be required. Many schools will also ask for a portfolio to demonstrate the applicant's creativity and talents in design. Graduates who hold an online bachelor's degree will be ready for a variety of positions worldwide including retail buyer, textile designer, visual merchandiser, retail manager, and of course, fashion designer. Many fashion designers aspire to design their own fashion line but design jobs such as associate designer or head designer are also available at already established fashion houses. Online bachelor's programs in fashion design are offered at universities, design schools, and vocational schools.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Fashion Degree
Accreditation is important because it helps determine whether or not the institution is upholding high standards of quality. This should be considered by applicants before enrolling in an institution or program to ensure that they are going to receive an exceptional education. Students in need of federal financial aide will need to consider accreditation, as federal grants and loans are only available to students attending accredited institutions. The National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) is the main accrediting body for fashion and art based programs. NASAD focuses on the establishment of reasonable standards set for institutions to uphold in order to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for students to excel both educationally and professionally within the realms of fashion and visual arts. NASAD annually evaluates faculty, equipment, and curriculum in order to ensure that the highest quality of educational standards are being met and upheld by each institution accredited through the program. By choosing an institution or program accredited by NASAD fashion students can be sure that their needs will be met and that their background in education will be respected by potential employers within the workforce.
There are a variety of career options within the industry for aspiring fashion professions. The first key profession is fashion designer. Fashion designers have the option of creating their own fashion line or working for an already established fashion house in which they will specialize in high street fashion, ready-to-wear, or haute couture. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include creating designs by hand or through computer programs, keeping up to date with current fashion trends, meeting with buyers and forecasters to develop new products, producing patterns for intended designs, overseeing production, and negotiating with customers and suppliers. Self-employed designers will also manage the marketing and financial aspects of their business. Fashion designers with a bachelor's degree are highly competitive over those who hold no degree. Most employers will also seek candidates with some sort of previous experience of working in a design studio.
Another popular profession is fashion buying. Fashion buyers work closely with different designers, wholesalers, and manufacturers to determine which fashion goods their store will carry each season. Responsibilities include keeping up with current fashion trends, attending trade shows and fashion shows to seek out the latest in design and textile, negotiating prices and deals with suppliers, making sure that stock is delivered on time, and monitoring the best selling items within the store to ensure availability for customers. Entry-level positions such as assistant buyer will require an associate degree or higher in fashion or related discipline such as business or marketing. Some retail experience is also preferred. The career ladder in fashion buying is also quite short as it can take as little as three to five years of experience to climb from assistant buyer to senior buyer.