How to Select the Right Interior Design Course Georgiana Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Georgiana AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Georgiana AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Georgiana AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Georgiana AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order 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 needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Georgiana AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Georgiana AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Georgiana AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Georgiana AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Georgiana AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Georgiana AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Georgiana AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Georgiana home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Georgiana AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Georgiana Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Georgiana AL.