Interior Designer College
How to Pick the Right One Near Anthem Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of selecting an interior design school near Anthem AZ now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So in order to assess and compare each college you are looking at prior to making your final choice it's essential that you do the proper due diligence. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. However, a school is not always the best choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when comparing 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 interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class options are available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Anthem AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Anthem AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Anthem AZ 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 qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Anthem AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Anthem AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Anthem AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Anthem AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative 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 Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anthem AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Anthem home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Anthem AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Anthem Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anthem Arizona.