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Is a fashion marketing degree too specific?


I want to get into marketing & have had an interest particularly in fashion marketing. I have received an offer to study fashion marketing as a master's degree at a really good university and it looks really interesting & definitely something I would like to do as a career. However, my worry is that it may be limiting in my future. I am thinking, what if I would like to go into another sector of marketing like food or general products, would I still be able to get jobs in other sectors even though my masters would be specifically in fashion marketing? Because obviously general marketing information will be taught as well. It seems like a perfect step into a career in fashion marketing but I am scared of having my interests change (even though at the moment I really enjoy learning about fashion marketing and want to make this a career.

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Amanda’s Answer

Since your question is rather specific to fashion marketing, I recommend messaging people in that field and/or with that degree via LinkedIn. Don't worry if you feel awkward cold messaging people- the worst that can happen is they just don't answer you.

But here's my advice to those considering grad programs in general:

1. Don't go to grad school right after college/university! Even if you're pretty sure about what you want to do, take a few years in the workforce to gain practical experience and talk with those farther along in their careers. See where your interests and curiosities guide you. Often as a student, it's understandably difficult to imagine exactly what you'd prefer or be able to achieve in your career years from now. But a few years in the real world can give you a totally new perspective. Also, the fashion industry is really hurting right now because of the pandemic, so it may be wise to keep yourself open to better your chances of getting ANY job in this very difficult global economy (take it from someone who graduated during the last Great Recession in 2009). Can you defer your acceptance to the fashion marketing program?

2. Also, you may find that not all career fields require or even like master's degrees, and sometimes the more educated you are, the more you actually place yourself out of a job. It's my understanding that marketing values practical internship/work experience over advanced degrees. If you're an undergrad student considering grad school right away, you'll finish grad school a couple years older with a fancy (and often expensive) degree, but you'll still be competing for the same extry-level job as those with a just bachelor's degree. The job will go to the person who's the right fit, which usually does NOT require or prefer a master's degree for an entry-level position. Hiring managers may even (perhaps unfairly) assume that you expect a higher salary and better treatment because of your master's degree, which can hurt you in a very competitive industry like fashion marketing, and a very difficult job marketing like right now.

3. If you find yourself struggling to get that entry-level internship or job experience, a grad program can sometimes help you connect with the right people and opportunities. In that case, you're not really paying for the classes or the master's degree, per se, but rather the access they give you to industry players. But not all grad programs are well organized to connect you to good jobs, and it still depends on you working the system, not just going to class and getting good grades.
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Cameron’s Answer

I majored in business management with a dream to work in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is really tough to get in to, but you have to be persistent about trying. I applied to the company I work at now for 9 months and was rejected over a dozen times. I do think if you want to work in the fashion industry, having a degree in fashion gives you an advantage particularly in regard to merchandising and retail math. I f that is definitely what you want to do, I would totally advise you to go after that degree!
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Jackie’s Answer

There was a woman that I went to law school with that had a degree in fashion marketing... you NEVER know where your path can take you, and any advanced degree is a good one! If you change your mind, you'll still have the basic business skills to go into marketing, retail, sales, etc. If you enjoy it, you can always change your mind later! Many of us change careers mid-stream. It's scary, but you have to follow your passions in life, and often those passions change.
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Brooke’s Answer

Hi Polina, A marketing degree can be applied to anything. I would recommend you start there. You can always specialize through experience or extra coursework. Unless there is a specific fashion school that you are targeting, I would always recommend a broader major that could be applied to multiple areas because your interests may change over time.
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Dennis’s Answer

Those who major in fashion marketing or fashion merchandising often go into styling, retail management, personal shopping, or an entrepreneurial career path. Those who pursue this degree will get to be super creative and express much through fashion.