Interior Designer Program
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Anniston Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of picking an interior design school near Anniston AL now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And because interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection it's vital that you carry out the proper research. But where do you begin? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 class alternatives are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Anniston AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives 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. Doctoral degrees are largely 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.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Anniston AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Anniston AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Anniston AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Anniston AL program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Anniston AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Anniston AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anniston AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Anniston home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anniston AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Anniston Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anniston Alabama.