Fashion Design Degree Career Choices

A fashion design degree is among the most popular of design studies in the world. This is a creative profession, and a highly competitive industry. Career choices can be difficult. "Design" is an extremely broad term, and the industry has many very different areas of design to complicate your career choices.

The only truly common area of fashion design is garment design. This is a primary skill, which is broken down into a range of other forms of design and careers based on fashion market segments.

Commerce is the primary driver of fashion design careers. These very different sectors clearly define the career issues:

Industrial fashion design: This is the mainstream market, business and casual wear, children's wear, accessories, the fashion industry servicing the retail heartland. Design is a corporate process, with designers operating on market terms.

Boutique garment design: The retail design labels, varying from small businesses to major local and global brands and distributors. This is a highly creative design sector, catering to fashion trends, niche markets and the youth market. This sector includes brand name swimwear, lingerie, and other market-targeted garments.

High fashion: Top level designer materials and markets, the high profile, ultra-competitive industry sector. High fashion is the expert design level. 

Types of Degree and Related Careers

Career tracks are decided by degrees in most cases, which is another good reason for being highly selective about your choice of degree.

Fashion design Bachelors or Associate degree: Most fashion design degrees include business skills and related training. This is the baseline fashion degree, and includes:

  • Fashion design
  • Materials
  • Design techniques
  • CAD design
  • Manufacturing and pattern design
  • Marketing

This degree permits career development across a wide field of fashion. It's structured as both a technical and commercial degree. Graduates then develop their careers through further qualifications, experience, and internships in specialist areas.

Specialist studies within fashion design degrees: These are highly variable components within fashion design degrees, including art and design technologies, retail management, and other very useful practical elements.

Fashion marketing: This is also a Bachelor's or Associate degree, focusing on the commercial areas of fashion. It's ideal for those intending to move into the business part of fashion. In a career context, it would be applied in conjunction with formal business qualifications. 

Fashion merchandising: This is a distinct area of fashion marketing, the "branding and packaging" of the products. This is the area of the industry  which develops and markets designs and designers. The design element in this case applies to brand image, product concepts, and other fields, rather than concentrating on purely garment design.

Accessory design: A sub branch of the wider fashion design field, accessories are a major component of the  fashion market. This area also includes specialist work with materials like leather, metals and related production elements.

Fashion colleges can help you design your degree to take you where you want to go in your career. You will have the option to undertake further qualifications selectively after obtaining your degree. It's also advisable to contact professionals in your area of interest, to get a broad spectrum perspective of the possibilities in each area of fashion design.