Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Pick the Right One Near New River Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of selecting an interior design school near New River AZ now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in New River AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their New River AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed 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 many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your New River AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many New River AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the New River AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of New River AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New River AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the New River AZ schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New River home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New River AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best New River Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in New River Arizona.