How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program Columbia 36319
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Columbia AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills 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 examination as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics 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 options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Columbia AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally 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 may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to 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 principles, Columbia AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Columbia AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain 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 facets 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Columbia AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Columbia AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Columbia AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Columbia AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama 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 probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Columbia AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Columbia AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Columbia AL schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Columbia home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Columbia AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Columbia AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Columbia Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
At the age of 18 Columbia was hired to assist Bill Sienkiewicz in illustrating Alan Moore's ambitious Big Numbers series. When Sienkiewicz withdrew from the series in 1990 after the release of the first two issues, Moore and his backers at Tundra Publishing asked the young Columbia to become its sole artist. In 1992, with no more issues released, Columbia himself left the project under a cloud of rumors and accusations, including claims that he had destroyed his own artwork for Big Numbers #4. Columbia declined to address the subject publicly for several years, writing in a 1998 letter to The Comics Journal that "I could easily launch into a tirade about the extensive horror of my Tundra experience, but I much prefer the very entertaining and conflicting accounts already in circulation." In later statements he confirmed that he destroyed his artwork but disputed other claims by the principal figures in the fiasco.
In a 2011 article reflecting on his Big Numbers experience, Sienkiewicz wrote that he and Columbia had long since reconciled over the matter, and that he was content to "[c]halk the feud up to the folly of youth."
Columbia's first solo comic book, Doghead, was released by Tundra Publishing in 1992. It contains three short stories, two in black and white and one in full color. Paul Gravett described it as "three dark, stylish tales, indebted to Sienkiewicz and McKean but with hints of [Columbia's] emerging singular identity".
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Columbia AL
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Subjects Required For Interior Designing. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Columbia AL.
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