Interior Design Graduate Programs Shelby AL

How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Shelby 35143

interior designed Shelby AL family roomNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Shelby AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

commercial interior designed Shelby AL conference roomOften people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Shelby AL can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Shelby AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.

Interior Designer Degree Programs

interior designed kitchen in Shelby ALThere are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Shelby AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Classes

woman attending interior design school online in Shelby ALFor anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Shelby AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Questions to ask Shelby AL interior design coursesAfter you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Shelby AL residence. Of course 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 limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Shelby AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Shelby AL college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Shelby AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Shelby AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program 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 offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Shelby AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Shelby home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Shelby AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Shelby AL?

Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Shelby Alabama area.  If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.

Shelby County, Alabama

Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085.[1] The county seat is Columbiana.[2] The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.

Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.[3]

Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.

Pick the Right Interior Design School near Shelby AL

Shelby AL interior designed bathroomChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Graduate Programs. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Shelby AL.

More Designer Locations in Alabama

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