How to Pick an Interior Design Degree Program Mount Vernon 36560
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Mount Vernon AL, 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 right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business in Mount Vernon AL 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 necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Mount Vernon designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in Mount Vernon as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs in Mount Vernon as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical 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 in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral 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 usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt 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 called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Mount Vernon homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional 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 certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Mount Vernon home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Mount Vernon employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position in Mount Vernon. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer in 36560. A number of Alabama interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mount Vernon home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mount Vernon, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Interior Designer College Mount Vernon ALPicking the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.