How to Pick an Interior Design College Myrtlewood 36763
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Myrtlewood AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business in Myrtlewood AL as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes in Alabama. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Myrtlewood designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in Myrtlewood in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions in Myrtlewood as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Myrtlewood homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Myrtlewood residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Myrtlewood employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those states calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the program you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position in Myrtlewood. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large 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 departments for the schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide in 36763. A number of Alabama interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Myrtlewood home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Myrtlewood, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program Myrtlewood ALChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.