Roadmap to a Fashion Industry Education

Patricia Lu, Intern at Phillip Lim
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Contributing writer Austin gives his take on fashion careers and education!

No matter what’s going on in other industries, the fashion industry seems to be recession-proof. And as a result, job prospects in fashion and retail are looking up this year. For people who want to make fashion a career, that means the future may just look a little brighter.

But creating a career in fashion requires building a solid educational foundation. Creating an educational roadmap is the best way to do it. From clothing design to marketing and buying, there’s a program out there that’s tailor-made for your future career.

Find your passion
The fashion industry isn’t just garment designers and stylists: it takes thousands of people, doing dozens of different jobs, to make fashion work. Before you decide on a degree program, do a quick self-inventory of your strengths. Do you have a knack for bargain hunting? Perhaps becoming a buyer for clothing companies or a personal shopper could be in your future. Are you fascinated by how garments are made? Graphic design or textile construction could be a good choice for you. Once you identify your gifts and your interests, you can start to evaluate the various degree programs that will help you find a career in the fashion industry.

Styling the right education
The business side of fashion is just as important as the creative side, and earning a business degree could give you some serious street cred in the industry. It’s not uncommon for freelance artists working on their own collections, or models who want to learn more about the business side of the industry, to consider returning to school. An online MBA program could give you the edge you need as well as the flexibility to work on your own projects. Degrees in marketing, graphic design and even textile design could help you shape the career you desire.

Getting your well-dressed foot in the door
Internships are an integral part of many degree programs, and while they’re fiercely competitive, they’re not out of your reach. If you’re an artist, make sure you have an online portfolio of your work, so potential employers and internship managers can view your talents. An online portfolio can work for business and marketing majors as well. You can display some of the projects you’ve worked on while earning your degree. Be sure that your online portfolio includes a resume and contact information.

You can also search for internships on your own, using sites like or by consulting with your school’s career center. Finally, landing an internship is sometimes about who you know; so do some networking among fellow classmates, faculty members and people in the industry.

Fashion is serious business, and a solid education is the best way to make your mark in the industry. Having a clear idea of your career goals, as well as knowing what you love doing, can help guide you toward an exciting and fulfilling career.


“Austin is an avid blogger and loves to travel and meet new people. He has a keen interest in fashion and design. You can see more of his writing at”

Author: Rose Wheeler

Hey, I'm Rose! I work with words on a daily basis as a content manager and writer. When I'm not working with my awesome clients, I enjoy cooking, yoga, styling, blogging and curling up with a good book.

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