Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Casa Grande Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of picking an interior design school near Casa Grande AZ now that you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just how do you approach finding the right program? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are many other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of 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 several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Casa Grande AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Casa Grande AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 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 securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casa Grande AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Casa Grande AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Casa Grande AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Casa Grande AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Casa Grande home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Casa Grande Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.