The Five Best Degrees For Students Interested In The Fashion Industry

Published on: March 25, 2024

Fashion has always been popular, but thanks to the internet, the industry is receiving more attention than ever. Even people who might not attend fashion shows will see their favorite celebrities strut the latest fashions on the red carpet or hear about their favorite musicians launching their own clothing brands. This has allowed fashion trends to spread more rapidly and broadly than ever before. Students interested in the fashion industry will also find that many degrees are available depending on which aspect entices them the most. 

Fashion Design

Fashion design is one of the most common degree paths for students interested in the fashion industry. It is available as an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts program. An associate degree provides students with a foundational education in fashion design, which can be built on for the bachelor's and master's degrees. Fashion design is also available at some universities as a combined degree program. In addition, fashion design certificate programs are available for students interested in specialized training in fashion design skills. Typical course topics include design principles, garment construction, and design theory. 

Fashion Design and Merchandising

Students interested in the creative and commercial aspects of the fashion industry can opt for a fashion design and merchandising degree program. This degree is available at the Associate, Bachelor, and Master levels. It covers topics such as design principles, retail management, marketing, consumer behavior, trend analysis, sustainable fashion practices, and fashion marketing. Working as a fashion merchandiser might involve selecting the product lines a retail store buys or creating promotions for these brands. Fashion merchandisers also sometimes work directly for designers and fashion labels to assist in getting their products in stores. 

Textile Design

In addition to combined degrees, textile design is available as an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. These degrees teach students subjects such as textile design fundamentals, sustainable textile practices, surface design, and more. Students also often explore different textile techniques such as weaving, knitting, printing, and dyeing. Completing a textile design degree can prepare students to work for design studios and consultancies, large fashion and design studios, and private clients. 

Fashion Illustration

Fashion illustration is an integral part of the fashion industry. It involves using drawing tools or software programs to communicate fashion ideas visually. Course topics may include drawing and rendering techniques, fashion figure proportions, fabric draping, and more. A fashion illustration degree also enables students to refine their artistic style and portfolio presentation. A fashion illustration degree can be helpful for students who are interested in becoming fashion designers themselves.  

Fashion Journalism

Students interested in fashion media, journalism, and communication careers can benefit from a fashion journalism degree. This degree typically focuses on the critical thinking, storytelling, and multimedia journalism skills required to report on the fashion industry. Students are educated on topics like fashion communication, editorial writing, digital media, fashion criticisms, and more to complement their knowledge of the fashion industry. Students can work as journalists or writers focusing on the fashion industry with this degree. Their work may include writing articles, advertisements, product descriptions, and other content related to the fashion industry. 

Other Options

The degrees listed above are available as standalone programs but are by no means the only options available to students interested in the fashion industry. Plenty of courses, concentrations, and specializations are offered as part of other degrees that can be useful in the fashion industry. Some of the most useful ones include:

Fashion Law and Intellectual Property—Some law degrees offer a concentration in fashion law, enabling students to specialize in the industry's legal aspects.

Fashion Styling: Some fashion degrees offer a specialization in Styling, which provides students with an understanding of styling techniques, fashion history, trend analysis, brand development, and other related topics. 

Photography and Videography: Fashion is a visual medium, so courses or programs dealing in photography and videography can be a significant asset for students who want to capture and showcase fashion products.

Makeup Artistry: Students who want to work in runway shows or fashion editorial can benefit from makeup artistry and beauty courses. 

Event Planning and Management: Coordinating fashion shows, promotional events, and product launches requires individuals with good event planning and management skills. 


Fashion is great for students who want to express their creativity and be part of an industry at the forefront of setting trends. It is also an industry with a lot of diversity, which means there are plenty of niches to fill for students depending on their skills and interests. Because of its fast-paced and ever-changing nature, the fashion industry is great for students who relish being challenged and pushing new boundaries. In recent years, sustainability and social responsibility have also received a greater focus, which makes the fashion industry great for students who want to contribute towards positive change.

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