The retail industry includes a wide range of businesses as the final step in the distribution of goods to consumers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry sector encompasses many subsectors ranging from food/grocery and clothing/furniture to electronics/automobiles to end-users as follows:
- Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers: NAICS 441
- Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores: NAICS 442
- Electronics and Appliance Stores: NAICS 443
- Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers: NAICS 444
- Food and Beverage Stores: NAICS 445
- Health and Personal Care Stores: NAICS 446
- Gasoline Stations: NAICS 447
- Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores: NAICS 448
- Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores: NAICS 451
- General Merchandise Stores: NAICS 452
Currently, the retail industry is the #1 employer in the state of Mississippi and ranks third in total gross domestic product (GDP) output for the state. There are more than 35,000 retail establishments in the state and the growth projection for the next few years is 7-10%. Retail in Mississippi is contributing $17.8 billion to the state economy.
The Retail Certificate, an online certificate program offered by Mississippi State University, provides perspective and current professionals an opportunity to obtain nationally accredited certifications from the National Retail Federation, learn real-life industry skills and develop leadership/management ability in the retail industry. It provides a competitive advantage for prospective and current industry professionals to be successful in entering and advancing retail careers in a dynamic and ever-changing retail sector.
The Retail Certificate offered by the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) program will complement existing B.S. degree tracks by adding an opportunity for students from any program to complete a formal and coherent grouping of courses with a retail focus. The goal of the Retail Certificate is to introduce current students to the dynamics of the retail industry and provide them some tools and training to be successful in a rapidly growing industry. Recipients of the certificate will be equipped with professional knowledge and technical skills to manage real-world daily operations of a retail business and be ready for successful careers in the ever-growing and changing retail industry. Students will need to complete 6 undergraduate courses for a total of 18 credit hours to receive a Retail Certificate. The courses are offered online during the summer and face-to-face and online throughout the regular academic year (fall or spring).
- FDM 2333 Intro to Retail Buying and Management
- FDM 2553 Intro to Merchandising
- FDM 3553 Merchandise Retail Pricing and Inventory Management
- FDM 4693 Digital Merchandising
- Select two electives approved by the Retail Certificate coordinator in your area of specialization, i.e. Ag Leadership, Food Science, Meat Science. 3000 level or higher.
Retail Certificate Application