Interior Designer Degree
How to Choose the Right One Near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of choosing an interior design school near Fortuna Foothills AZ now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision it's essential that you do the proper due diligence. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are many other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Fortuna Foothills AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose 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 short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically 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 cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire 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.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Fortuna Foothills AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to 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 sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Fortuna Foothills AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Fortuna Foothills AZ college you choose 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Fortuna Foothills AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fortuna Foothills home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with some 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fortuna Foothills AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Fortuna Foothills Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a course, program 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 conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.