Interior Designer School
How to Pick the Right One Near Goodyear Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of selecting an interior design school near Goodyear AZ once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So in order to analyze and compare each school you are reviewing before you make your final decision it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs 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 a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Goodyear AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Goodyear AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Goodyear AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program 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 respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Goodyear AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Goodyear AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Goodyear AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Goodyear AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Goodyear AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Goodyear home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Goodyear Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still essential that you conduct 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 colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.