Interior Designer Degree
How to Choose the Right One Near Marana Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Marana AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision it's very important that you perform the appropriate due diligence. But just where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are a number of other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Marana AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to 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 certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position 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 offer choices in specialty 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 mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Courses
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Marana AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Marana AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marana AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Marana AZ college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Marana AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Marana AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Marana home, go to the campus and sit in on a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Marana Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.