How to Choose the Right Interior Design College Williamstown 26187
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Williamstown WV, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Williamstown WV may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Williamstown WV interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Williamstown WV. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous West Virginia 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 deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly 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 three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Williamstown WV homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional 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 as well. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Williamstown WV residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Williamstown WV employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Williamstown WV program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Williamstown WV business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Williamstown WV colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Williamstown WV schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Williamstown home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Williamstown WV, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Williamstown WV?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Williamstown West Virginia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Williamstown, West Virginia
Williamstown is a city in Wood County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna metropolitan area. The population was 2,908 at the 2010 census. The now closed Fenton Art Glass Company was located in the city.
Williamstown was named for Isaac Williams (1737–1820), who settled here in 1787. Williams had served under General Braddock (1755) as a ranger and spy and under Governor Dunmore (1774) fighting against the Shawnee. His home was on 400 acres on the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Muskingum River, site of Marietta, Ohio, which was founded about a year after he arrived. Other local namesakes include Williams Creek and Williams District. The settlement was known as "Williamsport" to Ohio River travelers until 1822 when the present name was formalized.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,908 people, 1,254 households, and 848 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,107.2 inhabitants per square mile (813.6/km2). There were 1,352 housing units at an average density of 979.7 per square mile (378.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Williamstown WV
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Masters In Interior Design Courses. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Williamstown WV.
More Designer Locations in West Virginia