Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Pick the Right One Near New River Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near New River 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 imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice it's crucial that you perform the proper research. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. However, a school is not always the right choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important 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 options are available.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in New River AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their New River AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution 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 practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your New River AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of New River AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the New River AZ college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of New River AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New River AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the New River AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your New River home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New River AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Learn More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in New River
Choose the Best New River Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors 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 regarded in the field. It is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in New River Arizona.
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