How to Choose an Interior Design Degree Program near Grand Canyon Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Grand Canyon AZ, 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 get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Grand Canyon AZ if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Grand Canyon AZ often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, Grand Canyon AZ designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Grand Canyon AZ that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Grand Canyon AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Grand Canyon AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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 professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no Grand Canyon AZ area interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected 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 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 college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your Grand Canyon AZ area college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Grand Canyon AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Grand Canyon AZ college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Grand Canyon AZ area business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of Grand Canyon AZ area interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Grand Canyon AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the Grand Canyon AZ interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find the Best Interior Design Program near Grand Canyon ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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