How to Select an Interior Designer School near Cordova Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Cordova AK, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Cordova AK if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Cordova AK often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Cordova AK designers frequently concentrate primarily 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 stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design in Cordova AK that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Cordova AK.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Cordova AK area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no Cordova AK area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your Cordova AK area school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Cordova AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Cordova AK college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign 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 large network of Cordova AK area business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of Cordova AK area interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Cordova AK colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Cordova AK interior designer program you choose 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, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Interior Design Certification Training near Cordova AlaskaChoosing the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
Some Additional Cities of Interest in Alaska