Training and career development in retail

Professional development and qualifications for graduates working in the retail sector.

Depending on your degree subject, you may enter the graduate workforce at either operational level or a position higher up the hierarchical chain. Graduate training programmes and fast-track management training programmes are a good way for ambitious graduates to progress rapidly.

Traditionally, the retail sector has been seen as one that featured long hours and low pay, but salaries, conditions and opportunities for advancement have improved considerably and retail can now provide you with a career to rival others. One of the most important factors to consider is whether a company will help you to progress and reach your true potential.

Work-based education has been endorsed in several important reports in recent years and retailers across Ireland are leading the way in work-based training, continuing professional development (CPD) and improved access to e-learning in the workplace. In the Republic, IBEC’s Retail Skillnet group has developed training to build staff expertise in key areas. Similarly, in the North, Skillsmart Retail has established initiatives to promote upskilling within the industry.

Postgraduate degree programmes in retail studies on the island of Ireland are run by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). A number of third-level institutions also operate CPD programmes in association with retail companies.

If you already have a retail degree you may wish to pursue a specialist postgraduate programme in an area such as supply chain management, marketing, or IT. Check the postgraduate course database at to see what is available. If you are already in employment, ask your employer if they would consider sponsoring or subsidising your study.