Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of selecting an interior design school near Hueytown AL now that you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And because interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you select 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 considering before you make your final choice it's crucial that you perform the proper research. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Hueytown AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Courses
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Hueytown AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option 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 practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Hueytown AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Hueytown AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Hueytown AL school you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer 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 placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Hueytown AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Hueytown AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Hueytown AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Hueytown home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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, make certain that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hueytown AL, verify 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 due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Hueytown Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hueytown Alabama.