How to Pick an Interior Design Course Megargel 36457
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Megargel AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues 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 training choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business in Megargel AL as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. 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 taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Megargel designer must learn, such as lighting, color shemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in Megargel in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs in Megargel as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Megargel homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Megargel home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. 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 select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Megargel employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position in Megargel. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide in 36457. Many of Alabama interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important 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 intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Megargel home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Megargel, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design College Megargel ALChoosing the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.