Interior Designer School
How to Select the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Juneau AK, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are several other considerations that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Juneau AK. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Juneau AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Juneau AK residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Juneau AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Juneau AK college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Juneau AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Juneau AK colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Juneau AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Juneau home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers 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 in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find Out More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Juneau
Enroll in the Right Juneau Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Juneau Alaska.
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