Interior Designer Program
How to Select the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of selecting an interior design school near Drexel Heights AZ now that you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the best choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are various other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other important 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 about the degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Drexel Heights AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate 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 attaining the 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Drexel Heights AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Drexel Heights AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest 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 also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below 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 right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Drexel Heights AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Drexel Heights AZ school you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Drexel Heights AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Drexel Heights home, go to the school and monitor 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about 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 conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Drexel Heights Arizona.