How to Pick the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Three Rivers Massachusetts
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Three Rivers MA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk 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 mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training 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 work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Three Rivers MA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Three Rivers MA interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Three Rivers MA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Massachusetts community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions 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 components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Three Rivers MA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good 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 laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. 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 perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Three Rivers MA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Three Rivers MA employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Three Rivers MA college you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Massachusetts or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Three Rivers MA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Three Rivers MA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Three Rivers MA colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Three Rivers home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Three Rivers MA, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Certification Programs Online Three Rivers MA
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Certification Programs Online and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Local Interior Design Programs. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Three Rivers MA.
Other Massachusetts Designer Locations
Three Rivers, Massachusetts
Three Rivers is a village and former census-designated place (CDP) in the city of Palmer in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is named for the confluence of the Ware and Quaboag rivers, which form the Chicopee River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,939 people, 1,203 households, and 795 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 354.6/km² (918.4/mi²). There were 1,309 housing units at an average density of 157.9/km² (409.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.41% White, 0.34% African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.44% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.05% of the population.
There were 1,203 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
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