Going To School For Interior Design Santa Barbara CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design College near Santa Barbara California

Santa Barbara CA residential designed kitchenNow that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Santa Barbara CA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

Santa Barbara CA commercial designed board roomOften people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference 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 talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Santa Barbara CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Santa Barbara CA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.

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Interior Designer Training Programs

Santa Barbara CA interior designed bathroomThere are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Santa Barbara CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals 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, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for 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. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

Santa Barbara CA student attending online Interior Design CourseFor students who to study in the convenience of their Santa Barbara CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Questions to ask Santa Barbara CA interior design schoolsWhen you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Santa Barbara CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 school 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Santa Barbara CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools 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 require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Santa Barbara CA program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Santa Barbara CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Santa Barbara CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Santa Barbara CA programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Santa Barbara home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Santa Barbara 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 also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Going To School For Interior Design Santa Barbara CA

beautifully designed Santa Barbara CA homePicking the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Going To School For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Schools For Interior Design. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Santa Barbara CA.

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    Santa Barbara, California

    Santa Barbara (Spanish: Santa Bárbara; Spanish for "Saint Barbara") is a coastal city in, and the county seat of, Santa Barbara County in the U.S. state of California. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera".[11] As of 2014, the city had an estimated population of 91,196,[12] up from 88,410 in 2010, making it the second most populous city in the county after Santa Maria.[13] The contiguous urban area, which includes the cities of Goleta and Carpinteria, along with the unincorporated regions of Isla Vista, Montecito, Mission Canyon, Hope Ranch, Summerland, and others, has an approximate population of 220,000. The population of the entire county in 2010 was 423,895.[14]

    In addition to being a popular tourist and resort destination, the city economy includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and local government. In 2004, the service sector accounted for fully 35% of local employment.[15] Education in particular is well-represented, with four institutions of higher learning on the south coast (the University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, and Antioch University). The Santa Barbara Airport serves the city, Santa Barbara Aviation provides jet charter aircraft, and train service is provided by Amtrak, which operates the Pacific Surfliner (which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo). U.S. Highway 101 connects the Santa Barbara area with Los Angeles to the southeast and San Francisco to the northwest. Behind the city, in and beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains, is the Los Padres National Forest, which contains several remote wilderness areas. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are located approximately 20 miles (32 km) offshore.

    Evidence of human habitation of the area begins at least 13,000 years ago. Evidence for a Paleoindian presence includes a fluted Clovis-like point found in the 1980s along the western Santa Barbara County coast, as well as the remains of Arlington Springs Man, found on Santa Rosa Island in the 1960s. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Chumash lived on the south coast of Santa Barbara County at the time of the first European explorations.[citation needed]

     

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