How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Houston Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Houston AK, 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 important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Houston AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Houston AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Houston AK. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects 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 position 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 offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly 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 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Houston AK homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Houston AK home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college 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 look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 undergone an extensive 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Houston AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Houston AK program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Houston AK business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Houston AK schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Houston AK programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Houston home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Houston AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Accredited Interior Design Schools Online Houston AK
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Schools Online and wanted more info on the topic 2 Year Interior Design Programs. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Houston AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Houston is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located roughly 33 miles from downtown Anchorage "as the crow flies", although it is a 58-mile drive by car between the two points. The population was 1,912 at the 2010 census, up from 1,202 in 2000. It is not to be confused with the Texas city, Houston, TX.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.5 square miles (61 km2), of which, 22.4 square miles (58 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (4.89%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,202 people, 445 households, and 292 families residing in the city. The population density was 53.7 people per square mile (20.7/km²). There were 581 housing units at an average density of 25.9 per square mile (10.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.03% White, 0.33% Black or African American, 8.24% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.33% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 5.49% from two or more races. 2.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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