Few Jobs for Fashion Design Graduates

The national job market may be showing signs of improvement, but for the recent graduates of the city's top design schools, there are seriously few doors open.

According to WWD's recent report, only 10 percent of the students just finishing the accessories program at FIT had secured full-time employment. What's worse, only one of the fifteen soon-to-be graduates of Parson's shoe design program was leaving with a job.

The WWD article goes on to explain that -- in addition to most fashion companies learning to do more with less staff during the recession -- fashion footwear companies, in particular, continue to rely heavily on interns over full-time staffers, while those higher on the corporate ladder are still trying to recoup savings that diminished during the recession, and thusly aren't retiring in the near future.

The focus of WWD's report was on footwear and accessories, but doubtless the same diifficult job market is facing design graduates across various creative fields. In many ways, the creative field's decline parallels the decline of jobs in the very same industry that covers fashion -- the glossies. At magazines, too, unpaid internships are considered the norm and staffs, overall, have learned to produce more pages with less writers and editors.  While we have faith that creative, inventive work is still possible with a diminished number of jobs available within the industry, it does not speak well for the city's esteemed fashion programs when it seems a degree in fashion is no help in securing a full-time job.

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