Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Fortuna Foothills AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in several 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 assess and compare each school you are reviewing before you make your final selection it's very important that you perform the appropriate due diligence. But where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class options are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Fortuna Foothills AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position 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 options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Fortuna Foothills AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Fortuna Foothills AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Fortuna Foothills AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may 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 graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Fortuna Foothills AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Fortuna Foothills home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fortuna Foothills AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Fortuna Foothills Interior Design College
Picking the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.