How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Strawberry California
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Strawberry CA, 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 imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Strawberry CA may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Strawberry CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Strawberry CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Strawberry CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Strawberry CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Strawberry CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Strawberry CA school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. 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 higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Strawberry CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Strawberry CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Strawberry CA programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Strawberry home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Strawberry CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Degrees Strawberry CA
Choosing the right interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure 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 Interior Design Degrees and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Courses Accredited. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Strawberry CA.
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