How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course Valley 36854
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Valley AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Valley AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Valley AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Valley AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance 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 university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Valley AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Valley AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded 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 programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Valley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Valley AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Valley AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Valley AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Valley AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Valley home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Valley AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Valley AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Valley Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Chambers County, Alabama
Chambers County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 34,215. Its county seat is Lafayette. Its name is in honor of Henry H. Chambers, who served as a United States Senator from Alabama.
Chambers County joined its four mill cities to make the city of Valley (which is now the largest city). Valley is rapidly increasing in size and located between Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 34,215 people, 13,933 households, and 9,391 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km2). There were 17,004 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 58.8% White (non-Hispanic), 38.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 1.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Valley AL
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Universities That Offer Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Valley AL.
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