Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Glendale Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Glendale 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 because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each program you are considering before you make your final choice it's crucial that you do the appropriate research. But exactly where do you start? When checking out interior design programs, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are many other considerations that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Glendale AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth 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 secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Glendale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Glendale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program'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 reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Glendale AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Interior Design College
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented 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 superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.