How to Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Scottsdale AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key 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 areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Scottsdale AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as 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 carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Scottsdale AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Scottsdale AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Scottsdale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Scottsdale AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Scottsdale AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Scottsdale AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Scottsdale AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Scottsdale home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Accredited Interior Design Schools Online Scottsdale AZ
Selecting the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Schools Online and wanted more info on the topic 2 Year Interior Design Programs. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Scottsdale AZ.
Other Arizona Designer Locations
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, a retired U.S. Army chaplain, the city was incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000. The 2015 population of the city was estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."
Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe. The southern boundary is also occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which also borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.
The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, from approximately 300 BC to 1450 AD. This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation which was unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America. At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most likely theory having to do with a prolonged drought. The area's later occupants, the Pima and O'odham (also known as the Papago), are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people.
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