Interior Designer Degree
How to Pick the Right One Near Albertville Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Albertville AL, it's time to begin 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 receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research. But where do you start? When looking for interior design schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important 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 about the degree and training choices are available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Albertville AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually 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 components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job 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 options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Albertville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn 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 environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Albertville AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Albertville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Albertville AL college you enroll in should also provide 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Albertville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Albertville AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Albertville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Albertville home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Albertville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Albertville
Enroll in the Right Albertville Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. 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 interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Albertville Alabama.
Albertville Interior Design Colleges | Albertville Interior Design Classes