How to Find the Right Interior Design Course Holt Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Holt AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Holt AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. 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, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly 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 focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Holt AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Holt AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive 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 obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Holt AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many 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. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Holt AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Holt AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Holt AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Holt AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Holt AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Holt AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Holt home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Holt AL, 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, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Best Holt Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Holt AL.