How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program Castro Valley 94546
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Castro Valley CA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, 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, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important 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 class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Castro Valley CA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Castro Valley CA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Castro Valley CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of 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. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Castro Valley CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Castro Valley CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Castro Valley CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Castro Valley CA college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Castro Valley CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Castro Valley CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Castro Valley CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Castro Valley home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Castro Valley CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you 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, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Castro Valley CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Castro Valley California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Castro Valley, California
Castro Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Alameda County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, it is the fifth most populous unincorporated area in California[better source needed] and the twenty-third most populous in the United States. The population was 61,388 at the 2010 census.
With the arrival of Europeans, Castro Valley was part of the land granted to Mission San Jose in 1797. The area Castro Valley now occupies was part of the extensive colony of New Spain in what was the state of Alta California.
Castro Valley was part of the original 28,000 acre (110 km²) land grant given to Castro in 1840, called Rancho San Lorenzo. This land grant included Hayward, San Lorenzo, and Castro Valley, including Crow Canyon, Cull Canyon, and Palomares Canyons. Castro had a gambling habit and had to sell off portions of his land to pay gambling debts. The last of his holding was sold in a sheriff's sale in 1864 to Faxon Atherton for $400,000.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Castro Valley CA
Choosing the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points 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 respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Graduate Programs. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Castro Valley CA.
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