How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Smithdale Mississippi
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Smithdale MS, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Smithdale MS may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Smithdale MS interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Smithdale MS. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated 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. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Mississippi trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth 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 credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt 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 needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Smithdale MS homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Smithdale MS residence. Naturally 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 choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Smithdale MS employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Smithdale MS program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Mississippi or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Smithdale MS business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Smithdale MS schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Smithdale MS programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Smithdale home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Smithdale MS, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Top Universities For Interior Design Smithdale MS
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Top Universities For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Degree Online. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Smithdale MS.
Other Mississippi Designer Locations
Smithdale is an unincorporated community located in Amite County, Mississippi, United States. Smithdale is approximately 5.6 miles (9.0 km) south-southwest of Auburn on Mississippi Highway 570 and a part of the McComb, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area.