Interior Designer Course
How to Select the Right One Near Moody Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Moody AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. 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 talents to work. And because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each program you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision it's crucial that you perform the proper research. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Moody AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly 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 components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Courses
For students who to study in the comfort of their Moody AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn 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 right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Moody AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Moody AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Moody AL program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Moody AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Moody AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? 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. Find out from the Moody AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Moody home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to 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 offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Moody Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still important 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 colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moody Alabama.