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Choosing a Fashion Design School

Here are some tips to help you learn what to look for in a fashion design school.

Getting an Education

young fashion design student smiling

Because fashion design is a highly competitive job market, education level can make the difference between otherwise equally qualified candidates.

In fact, education makes you a more appealing job candidate in any field. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, bachelor's degree holders earn almost twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says, on its Education Pays, 2022 page, those with a high school diploma earn on average $809 a week, while those with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $1,334 weekly.

No matter how talented you are, fashion design school can be a valuable experience. It can give you opportunities to make industry contacts, polish your construction techniques and learn new fashion design software and programs.

Fashion design school will also help you learn to look at your own work critically and improve your design skills.

Choose a Degree at Fashion Design School

Certificates, diplomas, associate's and bachelor's degrees all have their own merits:

  • Certificate and diploma programs—and even associate's degrees—are shorter in duration and more intensely focused on fashion design
  • Most bachelor's degree programs will provide you with a well-rounded liberal arts education
  • In addition to fashion design classes, you will have general education credits to complete
  • Having a broader educational experience can help you as you are looking for jobs and trying to break in to the fashion business
  • A higher level degree may make you more competitive in the job market

No matter what fashion design school you attend or which kind of degree you get, you should expect to start in an entry-level fashion design position. As you gain experience in the field, your position and salary will increase.

Fashion Design School Accreditation

It's critical to choose an accredited art school for several reasons:

  • Choosing an accredited fashion design school ensures that the education you receive meets industry standards
  • Accreditation helps ensure that your credits will transfer if you choose to change schools or pursue a higher degree at another school

Fashion design schools are primarily accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). They may also be accredited by one of six regional accrediting bodies.

Fashion Design Degree & Career Guide