Interior Designer Course
How to Find the Best One Near Anniston Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Anniston AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students begin by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. There are various other considerations that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Anniston AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Anniston AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Anniston AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Anniston AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Anniston AL program you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Anniston AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Anniston AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anniston AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Anniston home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Anniston AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Anniston Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anniston Alabama.