Accounting for more than 4 trillion dollars in sales in 2013, the retail industry is one of the largest in the U.S. economy and thus offers a wide variety of positions for our graduates. The following are some of the more common positions our graduates obtain:
Graduates pursuing store management careers typically enter a store as an assistant manager. Depending upon their leadership skills and ability to train and motivate employees to meet sales goals, they can progress to store manager in one to two years. After that, advancement comes from opportunities to manage larger stores in the chain or to manage several stores in a district.
Graduates pursuing merchandising careers typically enter a store via an assistant buyer position. They support a buyer who is responsible for monitoring customer trends and selecting merchandise for the store that will enable the store to meet its sales and profitability objectives. To progress to buyer, the assistant buyer must have strong analytical skills, understand their target customer and possess excellent merchandise knowledge.
Graduates pursuing this career path may represent their company on social media, post merchandise and related product information to the website, monitor/analyze web traffic, devise strategies to draw traffic to the site and coordinate online and off-line activities.
Graduates pursuing this career path are entering the wholesale side of retailing. They represent a manufacturer of soft goods (e.g., apparel, shoes, accessories, etc.) or hard goods (e.g., electronics, toys, furniture, etc.) and sell their merchandise to store buyers who in turn resell that merchandise in their stores. It is not uncommon for former assistant buyers and buyers to migrate to the wholesale side of retailing. Given their prior merchandising experience, they have an excellent understanding of the store buyer’s needs.