Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Select the Best One Near Douglas Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Douglas AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are various other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Douglas AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Douglas AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Douglas AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain 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 technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain 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 business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Douglas AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative 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 make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Douglas AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Douglas AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Douglas AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Douglas AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Douglas AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Douglas AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Douglas home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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? Last, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Douglas AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Douglas
Choose the Best Douglas Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Douglas Arizona.
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