How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Petersburg Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Petersburg AK, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your talents 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 examination also. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover 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 confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Petersburg AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Petersburg AK interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Petersburg AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Petersburg AK homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 distance or online 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Petersburg AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below 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 ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design college and program 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Petersburg AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Petersburg AK college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Petersburg AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Petersburg AK colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Petersburg AK programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Petersburg home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic 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 Petersburg AK, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Masters Degree Online Petersburg AK
Selecting the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Masters Degree Online and wanted more info on the topic Schools That Offer Interior Design Major. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Petersburg AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Petersburg (Tlingit: Gantiyaakw Séedi "Steamboat Channel") is a census-designated place (CDP) in Petersburg Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 2,948 at the 2010 census, down from 3,224 in 2000.
The borough encompasses Petersburg and Kupreanof, plus mostly uninhabited areas stretching to the Canadian–American border and the southern boundary of the City and Borough of Juneau. While the city of Petersburg ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity (the borough assembly created a service area to assume operation of the former city's services), the tiny city of Kupreanof remains separate within the borough.
Tlingits from Kupreanof Island had long used a summer fish camp at the north end of Mitkof Island. Earlier cultures of indigenous people also used the island: remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 1,000 years.