How to Choose the Right Interior Design Program Jefferson 36745
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Jefferson AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Jefferson AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Jefferson AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Jefferson AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain 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 aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
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 sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Jefferson AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After 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, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Jefferson AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Jefferson AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Jefferson AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Jefferson AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Jefferson AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Jefferson AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Jefferson home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jefferson AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Jefferson AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Jefferson Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American former professional basketball player. He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Jefferson AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Degree University. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jefferson AL.
More Designer Locations in Alabama