How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program Guin 35563
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Guin 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 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 be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Guin AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including 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 picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Guin AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Guin AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically 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 some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Guin AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Guin AL home. 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 cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Guin AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Guin AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Guin AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Guin AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Guin AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Guin home, visit the school and sit in on 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Guin AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Guin AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Guin Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Guin is a city in Marion County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. It incorporated in December 1889. It is the birthplace of the band Scufflegrit. At the 2010 census the population was 2,376. On July 13, 2010, the citizens of Guin voted to become the first city in Marion County, since Prohibition, to allow the sale of alcohol.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,389 people, 1,027 households, and 666 families residing in the city. The population density was 191.5 people per square mile (74.0/km²). There were 1,168 housing units at an average density of 93.6 per square mile (36.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.69% White, 11.85% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,027 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Guin AL
Choosing the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm 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 Universities With Interior Design Programs. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Guin AL.
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