Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Chandler AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. There are various other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Chandler AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 credential 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 training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Chandler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire 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 school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want 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 Chandler AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education 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 Chandler AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Chandler AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chandler AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chandler home, visit the college and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Chandler
Choose the Best Chandler Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.
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