Interior Designer Degree
How to Choose 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 choice to become an interior designer. 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 be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to assess and compare each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Drexel Heights AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous 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 supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed 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 provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Courses
For students who to study in the convenience of their Drexel Heights AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. 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 practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Drexel Heights AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Drexel Heights AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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 requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Drexel Heights AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Drexel Heights AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Drexel Heights home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Drexel Heights Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Drexel Heights Arizona.