Interior Designer College
How to Find the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of picking an interior design school near Glendale AZ once you have made a career choice to study to be 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 talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because 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 it's vital you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate 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 specialized 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Glendale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Glendale AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Glendale AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Glendale Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check 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 remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.