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Interior Design Associate’s Degree West Newton MA

How to Find the Right Interior Design School West Newton 02465

interior designed West Newton MA family roomOnce you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near West Newton MA, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues 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 cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

commercial interior designed West Newton MA conference roomMany people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in West Newton MA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, West Newton MA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.

Interior Design Training Programs

interior designed kitchen in West Newton MAThere are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in West Newton MA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Massachusetts 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 furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

woman attending interior design school online in West Newton MAFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their West Newton MA homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Questions to ask West Newton MA interior design coursesNow that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your West Newton MA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many West Newton MA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the West Newton MA college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of West Newton MA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the West Newton MA schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the West Newton MA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your West Newton home, go to the school and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near West Newton MA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. 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 West Newton MA?

Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the West Newton Massachusetts area.  If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.

Newton, Massachusetts

Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Boston and is bordered by Boston's Brighton and West Roxbury neighborhoods to the east and south, respectively, and by the suburb of Brookline to the east, the suburbs of Watertown and Waltham to the north, and Weston, Wellesley and Needham to the west. Rather than having a single city center, Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.

Newton was settled in 1630 as part of "the newe towne", which was renamed Cambridge in 1638. Roxbury minister John Eliot convinced the Native American people of Nonantum, a sub-tribe of the Massachusett led by a sachem named Waban, to relocate to Natick in 1651, fearing that they would be exploited by colonists.[3] Newton was incorporated as a separate town, known as Cambridge Village, in 1688, then renamed Newtown in 1691, and finally Newton in 1766.[4] It became a city in 1873. Newton is known as The Garden City.

In Reflections in Bullough's Pond, Newton historian Diana Muir describes the early industries that developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in a series of mills built to take advantage of the water power available at Newton Upper Falls and Newton Lower Falls. Snuff, chocolate, glue, paper and other products were produced in these small mills but, according to Muir, the water power available in Newton was not sufficient to turn Newton into a manufacturing city, although it was, beginning in 1902, the home of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, the maker of the Stanley Steamer.

Find the Ideal Interior Design School near West Newton MA

West Newton MA interior designed bathroomPicking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Associate’s Degree. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest 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 right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Newton MA.

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