How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Taos Ski Valley New Mexico
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Taos Ski Valley NM, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 training options are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Taos Ski Valley NM can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Taos Ski Valley NM interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Taos Ski Valley NM. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous New Mexico trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Taos Ski Valley NM homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Taos Ski Valley NM home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment 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 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 applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Taos Ski Valley NM employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Taos Ski Valley NM school you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Taos Ski Valley NM business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Taos Ski Valley NM schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Taos Ski Valley NM schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Taos Ski Valley home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Taos Ski Valley NM, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design Education Needed Taos Ski Valley NM
Selecting the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Education Needed and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Courses Open University. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Taos Ski Valley NM.
Other New Mexico Designer Locations
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Taos Ski Valley is a village and alpine ski resort in Taos County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 69 at the 2010 census. Until March 19, 2008, it was one of four ski resorts in America to prohibit snowboarding. The Kachina lift, constructed in 2014, serves one of the highest elevations of any triple chair in the North American Continent, to a peak elevation of 12,481 feet (3,804 m).
In 2013, Taos Ski Valley, Inc., was sold by the founding family to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon. It has 110 trails with 24% beginner, 25% intermediate and 51% advanced/expert. The Ernie Blake Snowsports School is one of the highest rated ski schools in North America.
Taos Ski Valley is one of the highest municipalities in the US, sited at an elevation of 9,207 feet (2,806 m); however, the village limits reach 12,581 feet (3,835 m) and the highest residential dwelling is at 10,350 feet (3,150 m). Kachina Village, at over 10,350 feet, houses Bavarian Restaurant and two condo complexes and accommodates six permanent residents and visitors in 30 condo units; 70–80 home sites are planned for development. Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in New Mexico at 13,161 feet (4,011 m), overlooks the village.
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