Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Marana AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. It's imperative that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are considering before you make your ultimate choice it's very important that you carry out the proper due diligence. But just where do you start? When looking for interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. There are many other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Marana AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain 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 options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Courses
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Marana AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Marana AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marana AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Marana AZ college you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Marana AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential 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 Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Marana home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Marana Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.