How to Find the Best Interior Design Program near Kodiak Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Kodiak AK, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Kodiak AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Kodiak AK interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Kodiak AK. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Kodiak AK homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 also. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Kodiak AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues 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 programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Kodiak AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Kodiak AK program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. 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 high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Kodiak AK business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Kodiak AK schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Kodiak AK schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Kodiak home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kodiak AK, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Designer College Kodiak AK
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Designer College and wanted more info on the topic Education For Interior Designer. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Kodiak AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2018 estimates put the population at 5,968.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.
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There are two-year and four-year programs at major universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges, and art/design schools. These programs range from $4,000 to 25,000 per year. The range in startup costs after you have a degree and are certified is what it takes to pay for an office for the time needed to find your first clients.
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