How to Pick an Interior Design Degree Program Clay 35048
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Clay AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work in Clay AL as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Clay designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in Clay in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions in Clay as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Clay homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Clay residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Clay employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job in Clay. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer in 35048. Many of Alabama interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Clay home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clay, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School Clay ALChoosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.