Interior Designer College
How to Choose the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
So it’s time to begin the task of selecting an interior design school near Knik Fairview AK now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just how do you approach finding the right program? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Knik Fairview AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be 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 a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components 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 two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The 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 mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Knik Fairview AK homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Knik Fairview AK home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Knik Fairview AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Knik Fairview AK program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Knik Fairview AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Knik Fairview AK schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Knik Fairview AK colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Knik Fairview home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Knik Fairview Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school 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 rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Knik Fairview Alaska.