How to Choose the Right Interior Design School near Palm Desert California
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Palm Desert CA, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Palm Desert CA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Palm Desert CA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Palm Desert CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally 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 cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily 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 professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Palm Desert CA homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy 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 some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive 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 college may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Palm Desert CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Palm Desert CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Palm Desert CA college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Palm Desert CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Palm Desert CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Palm Desert CA schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Palm Desert home, visit the school and attend a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Palm Desert CA, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Certificate Online Palm Desert CA
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Certificate Online and wanted more info on the topic Online Degree For Interior Design. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Palm Desert CA.
Other California Designer Locations
Palm Desert, California
Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles (194 km) northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.
The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life.
The first residential development occurred in 1943 in connection with an Army maintenance camp in the area. That site was later developed into "El Paseo", an upscale shopping district not unlike Rodeo Drive. In 1948, the Palm Desert Corporation began to develop real estate, and in 1951 the area was given its present name.
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