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Online Fashion Degree: Be the next high couture icon

Updated on August 6, 2011

Looking to enter a fashion design institute?

If you love working with clothes, accessories, and apparels, then perhaps a fashion designer career is for you. As a fashion designer, your career is about creation. You make what people wear. Clothing trends change several times in the course of a year and what's hot today will likely not be so stylish in twelve months. In that sense, there's a semblance of job stability since your skills will always be in demand. And what about salary? Fashion designers do quite alright.

But just like any other professional jobs, a fashion designer career is a profession where the basics are taught in school. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, employers look for a degree that tells them that you know the basics. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 250 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design. Most of them have coursework in fashion design. Also, in the age of the Internet, you can satisfy basic coursework with an online fashion degree.

Typical classes include the fundamentals of colors, pattern making, use of software design, fashion history, textiles, sewing and tailoring. Many students and teachers feel that actual classroom attendance are better teaching environment for such lessons. But an online fashion degree gives the student flexibility in time and learning speed. Either way, employers look for education in this highly selective market.

Do it for love. Not the money.

If you want a successful fashion designer career, you have to do it for love, with money coming secondary. Why? By its nature, there are only a small number of fashion designer working in the US or in the world for that matter. In the US, they are concentrated mostly in New York or Los Angeles. Only 20,000 fashion designers in 2006 and projected to only go up to 21,000 by 2016. But in 2008, employment dipped down to 16,920 as the many were laid-off because of the recession.

But, if you're looking at the enrollment and employment before making a decision then you best look elsewhere for a career. Fashion designers are artists. And like other artists, they do it for the love of the craft. Not to mention that school can be expensive, even if you get an online fashion degree.

Salary: Fashion Designers

While the general consensus to become a fashion designer is for the love of the art and not so much the pay, those who are employed do relatively well in salary. In 2008, the average salary for fashion designers was $71,400 per year. Which is great considering that in the same year, the average US wage index is $41,334.97. But then again, only 16,920 were working as fashion designers. A very elite industry. I'm sure that the number of people trying to get in is a lot more.

The cities where they live also made a difference. The average salary for fashion designers in New York Metro area was $80,270 per year. While the average salary for fashion designers living California / Los Angeles was $78,200 a year.
All the salary numbers above are from Bls.gov and boil down to saying that a successful fashion designer career pays well.

This industry gives enough incentives and opportunities to those aspiring to create their own line. And make it big. On many occasions, really big! There are plenty of famous examples, such as Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Yves Saint Laurent, Russell Simmons, to name a few.

It helps to be a dreamer.

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