While it’s true that a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential may be enough to get you into some of the fashion jobs that you are considering, they won’t be enough to get you into every career in the fashion industry. Many of the companies and clients that hire fashion professionals are looking for individuals with a degree that indicates that they actually have the skills needed to design, produce, market, and/or sell clothing and accessories.
To start your fashion career, you should find an art school, a community college, a college, or a university that will allow you to earn the degree that you need. Since every school offers different degrees, and each degree is designed for a different type of fashion career, it is important for you to know what type of degree you need. You should, in most cases, consider two simple things about each of the careers that you’re considering before you apply to a fashion school.
First, try to find out if there is a particular degree that the professionals in the fashion career that you are considering typically obtain. Some degrees may be more helpful than others, allowing you to obtain a position or advance your career even though they aren’t necessarily related to the field that you are planning to enter. To make sure that you are getting a degree that you can actually use, find out what other people in your field have.
Secondly, try to find out if there is a particular degree that an employer may require or prefer you to have. Most of the employers in the fashion industry will require you to have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree , but the specific type of degree that you need may vary from fashion career to career.
Choosing a School
For most careers in the fashion industry, you will first need to find a fashion school and get your degree. There is a wide range of different fashion schools that you can attend, and each offers a different set of courses, programs, and degrees. Figuring out exactly what you need to look for can be difficult, but there are typically four things that your ideal fashion school should have.
- First, your ideal fashion school should have the degree that you need for your career. Most of the fashion careers that you will encounter will require some sort of degree, but the specific type of degree may vary from career to career.
- Second, your ideal fashion school should have a tuition fee that you can afford. It can cost a lot of money to go to a fashion school, and you won’t be able to finish your education if you can’t pay for the classes.
- Third, your ideal fashion school should have a campus somewhere near you. You will usually have to attend at least some of your classes on campus to earn your degree, and it is much more difficult and expensive to attend a school halfway across the world than it is to attend a school right next door.
- Finally, your ideal fashion school should have the courses that you want. Every fashion program will offer different courses, and there’s no reason to enter a program that only has courses in clothing design if you’re interested in accessories.
Example: Albright College – Fashion, Merchanidising, Textiles and Design Program
Applying to a School
When pursuing fashion careers, finding a fashion school is not nearly as important as finding one that will accept you. A school can have all of the characteristics that you need it to have, but it still won’t do you any good if you can’t convince the school’s admissions board to let you in. Convincing an admissions board that you are a good student is, of course, easier said than done, but there are a few ways that you can increase the likelihood that you will be accepted into the fashion school of your choice.
- First, try to find out more about the entrance requirements for each of the schools that you’re planning to apply to. Most of the schools you’re interested in will have minimum requirements that you must meet when applying, including a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential, a set of SAT or American College Test (ACT) scores that fall within the range set by the school, a high school transcript that indicates your GPA (unless you have a GED), an essay that you wrote specifically for your application to that school, and a variety of other similar requirements.
- Second, try to apply to many places that you want to attend and are qualified for. You probably won’t get into every school that you apply to, and you need to make sure that you have a backup or two if your first choice falls through. This doesn’t mean that you should send out applications to every school, but instead that you should try to send an application to each of the schools that you’re seriously considering.
When looking for a school to prepare for a job in fashion, students should always look closely at a school’s accreditation, which will tell you a lot about how a school’s resources compare to those of other fashion schools. Many of the fashion companies that you will eventually end up applying to and working for will want to make sure that your school is accredited before they hire you. There are typically two things that you should try to find out about any school’s accreditation.
- First, try to find out if the school is accredited; if it is, try to find out what the school had to do to earn its accreditation. Every school has to meet certain requirements before it can become accredited, but the specific requirements can vary from accreditation to accreditation. An accreditation may indicate, but not prove, that a school has all of the things that a good school should have.
- Second, try to find out who issued the school’s accreditation. There are a number of different accrediting organizations, and some are more credible than others. Look for a school that is accredited by a major national accreditation organization like the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD ) or a major regional accreditation organization like the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).