UofSC Retailing Department expands career options for students by integrating technology
Posted on September 9, 2019
By Allen Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org
A career in fashion means much more than most people realize, and the University of South Carolina is making sure its students are prepared to lead in every area of the rapidly changing industry.
The university’s Department of Retailing is making it its mission to connect curriculum to the dynamic job market demands and expanding the opportunities to work in fashion in a much broader context. That includes integrating the latest technology into classes and adding a new area of emphasis in fashion merchandising and digital innovations.
Retail changes. The way that people shop changes. The way we educate has to change, and that’s really what this new area of emphasis represents. Fashion means more than clothing. It’s about intelligent design in every aspect of retail and service and how it makes consumers feel.
— Department of Retailing Chair Mark Rosenbaum
“Retail changes. The way that people shop changes. The way we educate has to change, and that’s really what this new area of emphasis represents,” Department of Retailing Chair Mark Rosenbaum says. “Fashion means more than clothing. It’s about intelligent design in every aspect of retail and service and how it makes consumers feel.”
Capturing the broader consumer experience and visual design context, the program covers dynamic subjects from product development to fashion sustainability to the changing consumer marketplace and diversity and inclusion.
Students now learn, more than ever before, to merge technology with fashion. Instructor Daniela Jankovska joined the department in 2018 and specializes in computer aided design (CAD) for fashion merchandising, store design and retail. She teaches students to design stores and merchandising displays of all kinds using Adobe software and to think beyond the traditional, focusing on innovative business practices as they relate to consumer experience, designers, manufacturers and retailers.
Julian Masters, a junior majoring in retailing with the new emphasis in fashion merchandising and digital innovations, used those skills to impress when she applied and was chosen for the merchandising director position for UofSC Dance Marathon. She took charge of designing online and physical stores culminating with the creation of a merchandise area to serve more than 2,000 people during the student organization’s main event.
"I got the position because of the skills I had already gained through my visual merchandising class. I was able to jump right in and help with designs and do my own thing. You're able to get your ideas out pretty easily if you know how to use the programs,” Masters says.
In addition to Adobe, South Carolina students are training with industry-leading software like JDA and SalesForce and web development platform Wix. The technology enhances students’ qualifications for in-demand career skills and allows them to extend their knowledge of fashion far beyond clothes and into making anything visually appealing.
“Services are booming in the U.S., and everything in the service industry has a fashion component. Our students will be prepared to bring fashion merchandising and digital innovation into everything they do,” Rosenbaum says.
In decades past, many retailing students focused on careers with large department stores. While those traditional retailers are still hiring well-qualified graduates, they are doing so in smaller numbers and students now have the opportunity to pursue new and growing career paths in fashion entrepreneurship, ecommerce and a wide variety of consumer experience design sectors.
Learn more about the Department of Retailing programs.