How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program Albertville 35950
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Albertville AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills 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 examination as well. So it’s vital that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary 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 spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Albertville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several 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 read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Albertville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Albertville AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want 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 as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Albertville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 online or distance 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 perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Albertville AL residence. Obviously 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Albertville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Albertville AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Albertville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Albertville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Albertville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Albertville home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Albertville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Albertville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Albertville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Albertville AL
Picking the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Careers. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Albertville AL.
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