How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program near South River New Jersey
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near South River NJ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to 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 researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in South River NJ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, South River NJ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in South River NJ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be 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 several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous New Jersey trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their South River NJ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your South River NJ residence. Of course 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 narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of South River NJ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the South River NJ school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of South River NJ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the South River NJ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the South River NJ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your South River home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near South River NJ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Top Colleges For Interior Design South River NJ
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Top Colleges For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Training Online. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively 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 South River NJ.
Other New Jersey Designer Locations
South River, New Jersey
South River is a borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 16,008, reflecting an increase of 686 (+4.5%) from the 15,322 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,630 (+11.9%) from the 13,692 counted in the 1990 Census.
What is now South River was originally formed as the town of Washington within East Brunswick Township on February 23, 1870. South River was incorporated as an independent borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1898, replacing Washington town. It was named after the South River, which marks the borough's eastern and northeastern boundary.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.918 square miles (7.557 km2), including 2.769 square miles (7.171 km2) of land and 0.149 square miles (0.385 km2) of water (5.10%).
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