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How to Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Corona De Tucson Arizona

Corona De Tucson Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerOnce you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Corona De Tucson AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

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Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often 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 appearance as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.

Interior Designer Degree Options

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There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Corona De Tucson AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

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After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Corona De Tucson AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Corona De Tucson AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Corona De Tucson AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Corona De Tucson AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Corona De Tucson AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Corona De Tucson home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Corona De Tucson AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Learn More About Corona De Tucson Interior Design Schools

Enroll in the Right Corona De Tucson Interior Design College

Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.