Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Find the Best One Near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Fortuna Foothills AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. It's important that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research. But exactly where do you start? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Fortuna Foothills AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several 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 needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Fortuna Foothills AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Fortuna Foothills AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education 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 attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Fortuna Foothills AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fortuna Foothills AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fortuna Foothills home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fortuna Foothills AZ, make sure 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, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Fortuna Foothills Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.