Careers: Fashion

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Careers: Fashion
Learn about how you can embark upon a fashion career starting with the fashion design, merchandising and buying courses available at local community colleges.

For students who love to dress for success or who find a passion for clothing design, there are various fashion-based programs at community colleges across the country that can open the doors to an exciting career.

Fashion design provides students with training for careers in the clothing and apparel industry. Oftentimes, students pursuing fashion-related courses of study are taught how to create their clothes, design apparel, discover the mathematics of anatomy and fittings, and learn fundamental skills related to fashion merchandising and business. With incredible opportunities and options, students should consider their local community colleges to find out more about the fashionable opportunities that abound.

West Valley Community College

West Valley Community College (WVCC), with various campus locations in California, offers an array of diverse and innovative fashion avenues for study. At WVCC, leaders strive to teach students multiple techniques and skills needed to succeed in the professional fashion industry. Classes serve to help students update their current skills, as well as learn about the fundamentals of fashion. By completing the courses required, students can earn an Associate Degree in Fashion Design, a Certificate in Apparel Production, or even an Associate Degree in Apparel Production.

Highlighting the uniqueness of WVCC, students enrolled in the various fashion programs are provided with state-of-the-art computer training for apparel design and manufacturing careers. The WVCC computer labs allow students to engage with hands-on experiences using computers, systems, and networks in the “real world” industries. As WVCC asserts, “We are the largest educational facility in North America offering instruction using the Gerber Technology (GT) ‘AccuMark’ System for computer-aided patternmaking, grading and marking. This system is used by major manufacturers throughout the world.”

This video is one of dozens describing the college's apparel-making classes.

With leading technology systems and expert educators, WVCC’s program strives to fully prepare all fashion students with realistic training, information, and practice. Adding to these focus areas, WVCC is dedicated to providing affordable programs and classes for students, offering low-cost tuition, scholarships, and even financial aid support for qualified students.

Nassau Community College

Nassau Community College (NCC), located in Garden City, New York, also offers unique courses in the study of fashion. Students can complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in fashion design at NCC. Students are provided with courses that teach the skills of computer design, patternmaking, garment construction, and additional practices. All classes are taught by experienced fashion experts using equipment relevant to the current fashion industry. While practicing their skills, students are taught how to accurately transform their fashion sketches and ideas into realistic and wearable garments. Upon completing the program, students can transfer and continue their studies by pursuing a related Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree at cooperating universities.

In addition to academic instruction and training, NCC students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular opportunities. Specifically, during the spring semester, students of NCC join in a whole fashion show that highlights the works and garments of students. Students can apply for internship opportunities with various design firms and studios. Overall, NCC strives to provide students with industry-sponsored activities and events to help stimulate student comprehension, training, and success.

This video celebrates the 25th Anniversary of NCC's Fashion Program.

For students interested in other forms of fashion, NCC also offers a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. With this focus, students learn about import buying, textiles, publicity, fashion coordination techniques, and advertising. Students in this focus area have the opportunity to participate in internships and cooperative work experiences, providing all NCC students with hands-on experience and in-depth training. Upon graduation, students in this area can apply for jobs in designer showrooms, fashion publications, fashion firms and manufacturers, retail stores, or resident buying offices.

Pima Community College

Similar to Nassau and West Valley, Pima Community College (PCC), located in Tucson, Arizona, also offers diverse courses in fashion-related studies. With explorations in fashion design and clothing, students can take courses in construction, alterations, tailoring, draping, and even fashion drawing.

This video offers a look at Pima Community College's fashion design program.

Ultimately, all required courses in this academic pathway prepare students to earn an associate of Applied Arts degree. Upon graduation, students can enter the fashion career industry immediately or transfer to continue their studies at a four-year university. If students choose to pursue immediate employment, PCC states that graduates can pursue entry-level positions with clothing manufacturers, tailors, or specialty clothing shops.

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