Footwear design and technology provides scores of career options in manufacturing industries and export houses, and opportunities to work with renowned footwear designers and technologists.

Careers in Footwear Design

Footwear is an important part of oneís overall personality. Particularly in todayís fashion conscious world, an individualís outer image mostly depends upon the kind of clothes and shoes he/she wears. The recent increase in demand and choice for footwear has led to a spurt in the number of companies, including some international players dealing with footwear production and export trade. Nowadays, footwear is created from various raw materials, some being leather, plastic, canvas, jute, rubber, and cloth as well. An integral part of the leather industry, footwear manufacturing has evolved tremendously and gained popularity across the fashion world. The use of sophisticated machinery and skilled manpower has further contributed to the recognition of high-end brands. In short, footwear designing technology, as of today, finds an important place in the list of lucrative career options.

Course Details
Undergraduate, post graduate, diploma, certificate, and some advance courses are offered in footwear design/technology. The minimum qualification for undergraduate diploma or certificate programs in footwear design is 10+2 pass in any stream. Further, students with 10th pass can also pursue some short-term courses in this field. For admission to post graduate diploma in footwear design, one must be a graduate in any stream of education. Admission to most of these courses is done through entrance exams. However, footwear technology courses are offered as B.Tech/M.Tech programs, which are open only to science or engineering students.

Career Prospects
Students, who possess the skills of creativity and business with good aesthetic sense, have a myriad of flourishing career options open in the field of design, marketing, and manufacturing of footwear designing. They can join specialist footwear companies, sportswear companies, designer labels, at both junior and executive levels. Upon gaining sufficient experience, one can set up his/her own exclusive footwear label or enter in the market as a footwear technician, footwear line builder, trade analyst, cost analyst, senior production co-coordinator or production manager, etc.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Some premier institutions that offer courses in footwear designing are: Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) at Noida and Chennai; Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai; National Institutes of Fashion Technology (NIFTs) at New Delhi, Gandhinagar, and Chennai; Central Footwear Training Centre (CFTC), Chennai; Government Leather Institute, Agra; Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra; Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur; Dr. BR Ambedkar Regional Engineering College, Jalandhar; Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Muzaffarpur; AVI School of Fashion & Shoe Technology, Chandigarh; College of Leather Technology, Calcutta; Institute of Government Leather Working School, Mumbai; National Small Industries Corporation Ltd., Chennai; and Alagappa College of Technology, Chennai.

Since the nature of job prospects in footwear designing is very diverse, the remuneration can vary tremendously. Initially, one can expect a starting salary somewhere around Rs. 10,000 - 12,000 per month. International players offer higher pay packages to freshers which can range between Rs. 15,000 - 20,000 per month. Independent footwear designers can generate revenue depending upon the nature of their assignments. Entrepreneurs in this field can make hefty earnings per annum depending upon the size and nature of their business.

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