How to Find the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Morris Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Morris AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two 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 requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Morris AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Morris AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Morris AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish 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 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Morris AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. 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 schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a respected 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 acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Morris AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Morris AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Morris AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Morris AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Morris AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Morris AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Morris home, go to the campus and monitor 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Morris AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Right Morris Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Morris AL.