Visual Merchandising Degree: What to expect?

As a Visual Merchandiser, you create the visual layout of a store, including all window displays, floor plans, and in-store arrangements. You make the store’s products look more enticing by setting them up in an attractive way, your goal being to draw customers in and guide them along paths throughout the store. Whether you’re dealing with a sale, overstock, or some other element, you put the store together based on a number of factors, and it’s up to you to weigh all of those out and decide on the best visual merchandising possible. So here’s what to expect when you earn your degree in visual merchandising.


Visual merchandising is most often completed as a course of study found under fashion merchandising at a design school, so start out by pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising, with the intent of working in visual merchandising. This can take the form of either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, depending on how far you want to go with the fashion merchandising aspect of your degree. Your classes will revolve around the business side of merchandising, but also rely heavily on the artistic aspects of displays.

There are online options as well. Check out the art and design schools in your area, and see if they have online programs.

Next Step

Once you’re done with school, you’ll want to focus on creating a portfolio to show prospective employers. Any school projects that really showed off your skills work great. If you have a weak portfolio to begin with, you may want to think about offering up your services for free to a small boutique, and then photographing the results and adding those.

After you’ve been working as a Visual Merchandiser for some time, you can pursue other careers. For example, you can go on to become a Manager, start your own company, or even try interior design or architecture. It all depends on your level of experience and success, as well as the degree you earned at art school.

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