Interior Designer School
How to Pick the Right One Near Auburn Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of choosing an interior design school near Auburn AL once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are several other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class options are available.
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Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Auburn AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Courses
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Auburn AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges 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 as well. Just make certain that the college you select 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Auburn AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school 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 also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Auburn AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Auburn AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Auburn AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Auburn AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper 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 minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Auburn AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Auburn home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find Out More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Auburn
Enroll in the Best Auburn Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn Alabama.
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