How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Big Lake Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Big Lake AK, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account 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 offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Big Lake AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Big Lake AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Big Lake AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide 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 degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Big Lake AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent 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 convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Big Lake AK home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools 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 important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Big Lake AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Big Lake AK school you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help 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 higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Big Lake AK business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Big Lake AK schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Big Lake AK schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Big Lake home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Big Lake AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Schools For Interior Design Big Lake AK
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Online Degree In Interior Design. However it is still imperative 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 assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Big Lake AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Big Lake, Alaska
Big Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,350 at the 2010 census, up from 2,635 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 144.8 square miles (375 km2), of which, 131.9 square miles (342 km2) of it is land and 12.9 square miles (33 km2) of it (8.89%) is water.
Big Lake first appeared on the 1960 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980. Within Big Lake is the former short-lived city of Long Island, which existed from 1965-1975 and had just 7 residents on the 1970 census. This is not to be confused with the former logging camp of Long Island.
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