Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Foley AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each school you are looking at before you make your final decision it's very important that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Foley AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Foley AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Foley AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Foley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Foley AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained 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 yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Foley AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Foley AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Foley AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Foley home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Foley AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Foley Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Foley Alabama.