How to Choose the Right Interior Design College Carlisle Rockledge Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Carlisle Rockledge AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Carlisle Rockledge AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Carlisle Rockledge AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Carlisle Rockledge AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select 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 covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth 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 college graduate 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 achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things 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 programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Carlisle Rockledge AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select 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 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 right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Carlisle Rockledge AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below 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 ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carlisle Rockledge AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Carlisle Rockledge AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Carlisle Rockledge AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Carlisle Rockledge AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Carlisle Rockledge AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Carlisle Rockledge home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carlisle Rockledge AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Ideal Carlisle Rockledge Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs 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 Carlisle Rockledge AL.