Interior Designer Course
How to Find the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Troy AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students begin by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. 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 first, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Troy AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Troy AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Troy AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Troy AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Troy AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Troy AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Troy AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Troy AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Troy home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic 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 Troy AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Troy Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative 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 review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Troy Alabama.