Interior Designer Degree
How to Find the Best One Near Moody Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of picking an interior design school near Moody AL once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to assess and compare each program you are considering before you make your ultimate decision it's vital that you carry out the proper research. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the right choice just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will address 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Moody AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Moody AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Moody AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
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 several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Moody AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain 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 setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Moody 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 qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moody AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Moody AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Moody AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Moody AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Moody AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Moody home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Moody AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Moody Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moody Alabama.