Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Glendale AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice it's crucial that you do the proper due diligence. But just how do you go about finding the right program? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital 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 training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior 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 facets of the trade required 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 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized 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 primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Courses
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Glendale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Glendale AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Glendale Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.