The world of fashion design has evolved drastically since the advent and continuous improvement of technology. 20 years ago, when people talked about fashion designers, they were talking about people working tirelessly in their shops so they could show off their designs at runway shows. But fashion design has expanded as the idea of what constitutes fashion design expanded to include technology. Now it is nearly impossible to succeed in the cutthroat fashion industry without having a strong understanding of how to market and showcase your designs online. There are plenty of fashion schools and even traditional schools that can help you acquire this understanding, but if you are looking for a more flexible schedule and the ability to learn at your own pace, it may be worthwhile to consider an online fashion design degree program.
Assuming you choose an accredited institution with a bulletproof reputation, the online fashion design degree program will not only be as rigorous and effective as any traditional program, it also may provide you with a level of comfort with the technology and online software that are becoming an important part of the fashion design industry today. You may not think that a graphic design degree and a fashion design degree are the same thing, but they are probably more similar than you realize. An online fashion design degree program can help you breakthrough in what is one of the country’s most competitive and popular industries. In addition to classes where you will learn basic design tenets and history, you will also learn textiles, sewing and tailoring, pattern design, and fashion history. Your coursework will also almost undoubtedly include courses in how to maneuver your way around computer-aided design given how it has become a staple in the fashion design industry.
The industry may be competitive and exhausting, but it also one of the most glamorous industries in the country and it continues to grow. Fashion has become a staple of society and popular culture. Everything from your earrings to your new sparkly iPhone cover can be considered fashion and the Internet is flooded with blogs and websites and social media accounts that are devoted to covering the fashion industry and giving opinions on recent fashion designs.
Finding a job in the industry will require a lot of hard work, talent, perseverance, and probably some luck, especially considering that not all jobs in the industry require a postsecondary education for entry. But that is why an online fashion design degree program may be just what you need to give you a leg up in the industry. While the degree won’t guarantee that you get the fashion job you want, but it will give you a well-rounded design education as well as a crash course in computer-aided design, preparing you for an increasingly digital fashion design industry.
Choosing an Online Fashion Design Degree Program
As online fashion design degree programs have grown in number and popularity, it has become easier for diploma mills to slip into the space and try to turn a quick profit off potential students’ naïveté. Fortunately for students interested in a career in fashion design, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design is around to establish national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and even other credentials. Of course there are reputable institutions that haven’t been accredited by NASAD, but the organization boasts more than 300 accredited member institutions for students to choose from and at least when you are selecting from their list you are ensuring your education will be worthwhile.
The problem is very few of the online fashion design programs are currently accredited by NASAD. The wheels of change are starting to turn, and the organization has begun to take online programs in the subject seriously when considering them for accreditation, but don’t be disheartened if the schools of your choice can’t be found under the list of accredited institutions.
This doesn’t mean that all of the online fashion design programs are shams – they aren’t. As online schools have begun to realize how popular fashion design has become, they have been working feverishly to craft an effective and comprehensive online fashion design degree program that will prepare students for the industry. You just need to be extra careful when you are selecting an online program and make sure to do extensive research before making a final decision.
For starters, any online fashion design program worth its salt will offer some sort of training or formal education in computer-aided design. CAD has become an industry standard at this point and to become successful in the industry you will almost certainly need to have some experience working with computer-aided design programs. You will also want a program that offers a strong foundation in general design principles. A good fashion design program understands that while you are here to learn the intricacies of the fashion design industry, design is very similar no matter which type of design you choose to pursue. If they understand that fact, then they will offer basic design courses and training at the start of the program and then gradually become more focused and nuanced as you advance in your education.
The bottom line is that private art and design schools aren’t the only opportunities for students interested in fashion design to earn a worthwhile education. Make no mistake, private art and design schools, even the ones that have begun to offer online fashion design courses, will absolutely give you a focused and intricate education in the subject, but they also tend to be expensive, and there are cheaper options out there, you just need to know where to look, and to know what you are looking for.
Online Fashion Design Degree and Course Types
Fashion design degrees come in standard three separate degree types. There are the master’s degrees, the bachelor’s degrees, and the associate’s degrees, all of which offer a different level of education and different opportunities within the industry. Fashion designers don’t necessarily need a postsecondary degree, but they will require a well-versed understanding of computer-aided design and basic fashion design tenets, things that aren’t easy to teach yourself and are a major part of any online fashion design degree. Online training will allow you to familiarize and master CAD programs if you choose. Basic coursework will include essential subjects like fabrics, colors, design, sewing, and sketching while more advanced coursework will include fashion history, fashion marketing, and fashion design techniques and strategy. Because of the flexibility in online programs, you will also have the chance to take business and marketing classes. Any type of degree will help jumpstart your career in the industry, it is only a matter of how much time you are willing to invest and where you want to start your career.
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