FROM RETAIL THERAPY: AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Got a question? Ask the experts

Have you got a question about the retail industry? E-mail our panel of professionals at retailtherapy@independent.co.uk


I've just started at sixth form college doing business studies, French and English literature. Assuming everything goes well, I already know that I want to do a degree in retail, but there seem to be so many different choices. What should I go for?

Natalie, 17, Sheffield

The retail sector has numerous opportunities in a range of careers, many of which are not directly visible to the public, such as marketing, buying functions, accounts, human resource management, product development, and logistics. Many of these roles will see positions filled by staff with degrees in specific areas such as accountancy, HRM and product development.</p>

However, the sector also needs graduates who are able to work across a range of subjects and have a deeper understanding of the retail sector. With this type of route you probably have three main options. The first is to study a degree that may not be tailored explicitly to the retail sector, such as business management or marketing. More specifically, your second option could be to take a degree route such as retail management or retail marketing. This would allow you to develop a strong understanding of the broad background, development and scope of the sector, coupled with an underpinning of management knowledge and skills. The broader knowledge of retail and business will give you a skills base that can be taken to employers both within and outside the sector. Your final option could be to take a joint or combined style of degree. A number of institutions will allow you to combine retail with a range of subjects, from languages through to nutrition or consumer studies.

Richard Bent, senior lecturer in retail business, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

For the past two years, I have worked as a merchandise assistant, but I have seen a position that I really want at another retailer. I am going to send my CV but I don't think it gives a complete version of myself and my abilities. Since I started working in my current job, I have done lots of training courses that have really helped me, but I have no qualifications or certificates to show for it. Will my potential employers take my word for it or do I just not bother putting these details on my CV?
James, 22, Glasgow

Unfortunately your situation is not uncommon. Responsible retailers will always train staff to make sure employees are reaching their full potential and doing their jobs effectively, but often no official or verifiable record of on-the-job training is kept.

At High and Mighty, we piloted a successful scheme called RetailPassport which was designed to address this very problem by providing a verifiable online record of qualifications and training an employee gets throughout their career. The RetailPassport is now widely available and comes in the form of a photocard with an online profile. Basically, your employer or the body that has provided the training can verify your skills record to make sure it shows everything from your GCSEs to your most recent vocational merchandising training.

<p>On the website, www.retailpassport.co.uk, you can upload all your training and qualifications online. Essentially, you can then use that as your resumé or send details with your CV. This way, your prospective employers will get a fuller picture of your capabilities and experience and you will be able to present them with all your skills and attributes. Good luck!</p>

Nicky Hillier, personnel manager, High and Mighty

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

MBDA UK Ltd: HR Advisor - Recruitment and Graduate Programme

Competitive Salary & Benefits: MBDA UK Ltd:    What’s the opportunity? We...

MBDA UK Ltd: Software Graduate

Competitive Salary & Benefits: MBDA UK Ltd:   Role Title: Softwa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support - Surrey - £28,000

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpdesk / Devel...

Guru Careers: Graduate Database Administrator / Junior DBA

£20 - 25k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Database Administrator / Junior DBA is nee...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks