How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Kalifornsky Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Kalifornsky AK, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Kalifornsky AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Kalifornsky AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Kalifornsky AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Kalifornsky AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Kalifornsky AK home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Kalifornsky AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Kalifornsky AK program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Kalifornsky AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Kalifornsky AK schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kalifornsky AK colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Kalifornsky home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kalifornsky AK, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Right Kalifornsky Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Kalifornsky Alaska.