Retail Management and Merchandising Degree Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Retail Management and Merchandising

Individuals that like to sell things and talk people into making decisions may enjoy a career in sales, which could be advanced through the completion of a degree in retail management and merchandising. By completing this degree, a student would be prepared to work as a retail salesperson, retail managers, purchasing manager, or in one of many other retail focused jobs.

Retail Management and Merchandising Degree Programs

A retail management and merchandising degree will prepare a student to work in leadership roles with retail organizations. Many two year associate degrees will offer coursework in retail management and marketing, and there are some four year colleges that will offer these degrees at the bachelor’s level. However, there are many retail sales positions that don’t even require a degree, but those that pursue this education may take courses in:

  • Computer Applications in Business
  • Specialty Merchandising
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Principles of Retailing
  • Advanced Marketing
  • Principles of Economics
  • Small Business Management
  • Speech Communications
  • Principles of Retailing

Through the completion of a degree in retail management and merchandising, a student will be prepared to take on jobs as retail salespeople, retail managers, or purchasing managers.

Retail Salesperson Job Opportunities for Retail Management and Merchandising Degree Graduates

Retail salespeople discuss products with customers and try to find the best product to suit their need. They must have extensive knowledge of what they are selling so that they can answer customer questions and help people to decide between products. Individual with previous sales experience or education in sales will be the best candidates for a retail sales job. Retail salespersons prepare sales slips, receipts, and sales contracts. They may answer questions regarding merchandise and recommend or help locate products for customers. Many individuals that work in retail sales are also paid based on commission, so finding a job that sells big and costly items will be tricky. In general, retail sales job are expected to have average job growth in the near future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a retail salesperson in 2009 was just over $20,000.

Retail Manager Job Opportunities for Retail Management and Merchandising Degree Graduates

Retail managers supervise sales staff and operations and a number of different retail stores. This may include directing the activities of cashiers and sales staff, coordinating work schedules, managing customer service representatives, and ensuring that workers are meeting the needs of the clients. Retail sales managers instruct staff on how to handle difficult and complicated sales. They may also provide customer service by greeting and assisting customers as needed. Retail management is not expected to have significant growth within the next few years, and the field should be slow in the future. This can be attributed to the economy and a desire to hire lower level employers who cost the company less money. It is expected that retail managers can make an average of $35,000 each year, but the person’s experience level, level of responsibility, and regional factors can cause this number to change.

Purchasing Manager Job Opportunities for Retail Management and Merchandising Degree Graduates

Purchasing managers work with companies or organizations to find and purchase services and goods needed by their employer. Purchasing managers may also be responsible for managing and overseeing the work and operations of lower level purchasing agents. They may need to coach them on how to effectively negotiate a contract in order to secure the necessary materials in an efficient manager. They are usually responsible for doing what needs to be done to secure the goods and this involves the negotiation of contracts to find a solution that works for all parties involved. The goods and services most commonly used in this job include:

  • Machinery
  • Raw materials
  • Transportation solutions
  • Office materials

Purchasing managers resolve grievances with contractors or vendors in addition to claims against suppliers. They may also analyze delivery and market systems to assess the availability of materials. The median annual salary for a purchasing agent in 2009 was $53,150. However, this job is expected to see slow growth within the next few years, making jobs in this area difficult to come by.

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