Retail Buyer Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Retail buying, also commonly known as retail merchandising, involves developing, planning, purchasing, presenting and selling products. Programs in retail buying and merchandising are offered through both 2-year and 4-year colleges. When selecting a retail buyer school, students often consider the available degree programs, possible degree specializations and available internship opportunities.
How to Select a Retail Buyer School
Students seeking retail buyer educational programs often consider possible specializations within retail buying. While all retail buyer programs include education and training in business, management and merchandising operations, specialized programs can teach students factors unique to specific industries of interest. Examples of possible focus areas include fashion and textile merchandising, home furnishings merchandising and electronics merchandising.
Another factor to take into account when choosing a retail buyer school is the desired education level and credential. Common credentials awarded in the field of retail buying and merchandising include certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. Certificate programs cover the basic topics of the field, including industry overview, retail buying and merchandising. Certificate program graduates qualify for entry-level positions in retail buying.
Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in retail buying and merchandising combine core merchandising, business and marketing courses with general education requirements. Students holding associate's and bachelor's degrees also qualify for entry-level positions in retail buying; however, they may have an edge in gaining employment over those who hold only certificates.
Master's degree programs in retail buying strongly emphasize economic, business and management concepts in addition to industry-specific topics like fashion and textiles or electronics. Graduates of master's degree programs qualify for management positions in merchandising and retail buying.
Students may also consider the internship opportunities available at retail buyer schools when choosing a program. Because of geographic location or industry relationships, some schools may offer better or more personally desirable retail buying internship opportunities. Internships offer students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and build professional networks while still in school.
Largest Schools by Student Enrollment
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, Public|
|Riverside Community College||36,146||2-year, Public|
|City College of San Francisco||34,868||2-year, Public|
|University of North Texas||34,830||4-year, Public|
|American River College||34,610||2-year, Public|
|Pima Community College||34,136||2-year, Public|
|Santa Ana College||33,916||2-year, Public|
|Mt San Antonio College||30,026||2-year, Public|
|University of South Carolina - Columbia||27,488||4-year, Public|
|Central Michigan University||27,225||4-year, Public|
|El Camino Community College District||27,098||2-year, Public|
|Long Beach City College||26,927||2-year, Public|
|Palomar College||26,805||2-year, Public|
|Pasadena City College||26,713||2-year, Public|
|Portland Community College||26,278||2-year, Public|
|Sacramento City College||26,128||2-year, Public|
|Fresno City College||24,783||2-year, Public|
|Orange Coast College||24,742||2-year, Public|
|University of Akron||24,119||4-year, Public|
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