What to expect from a career in the Fashion Industry

There are many exciting careers in the fashion industry for those with an eye for style and the discipline to channel their creativity. Whether you're interested in the business angle of fashion or marketing yourself as a fashion designer, fashion programs at Ontario colleges can get you where you need to go.

If you're ready to start your career in an industry where hard work pays off, here's what you need to know.

Fashion Courses

Fashion arts and fashion design programs are structured to give students full knowledge of the industry, from fashion history to the very latest in textile technology. Courses in pattern drafting, garment construction and computer-aided design encourage both traditional hands-on practices as well as the use of the latest software and technology.

Many Ontario college fashion programs cover specific areas in the industry. These include (but aren't limited to):

  • Fashion Merchandising. Blending fashion with retail, covering retail management, branding, visual merchandising, promotion and more.
  • Fashion Business / Management. Focusing on merging practical business training into the fashion world, preparing students for careers in store management or product marketing.

In both areas you can expect plenty of real-world training opportunities to complement your education, including meeting with industry professionals and traveling to new fashion hotspots all over the world. A work placement may also be part of the curriculum.

General Fashion Program Requirements

Fashion programs at Ontario colleges generally require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit and a senior mathematics course (individual credit requirements will vary). Courses such as dramatic arts, communications and drafting are often encouraged.

Fashion Jobs and Salaries

From hands-on jobs such as pattern making or fashion buying to behind-the-scenes work like costume research for film and theatre, there are many opportunities open to fashion program graduates. Students are also prepared to market their own designs or work with retailers as design consultants.

Because the job market is so diverse, salaries can vary. Starting salaries may be as low as $23,000 to $28,000 per year, but with experience or through building an independent client base, salaries may reach $50,000 or more per year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Fashion Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of fashion programs at Ontario colleges.

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