How to Select an Interior Design Course near Platteville Colorado
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Platteville CO, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Platteville CO if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Platteville CO frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, Platteville CO designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Platteville CO that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Platteville CO.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Platteville CO area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions 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 technical and creative aspects 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 supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no Platteville CO area interior design programs 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 study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your Platteville CO area school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your home. Obviously 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 fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Platteville CO employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require 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 requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Platteville CO school you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’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 schools 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 profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Platteville CO area business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of Platteville CO area interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Platteville CO programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the Platteville CO interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night 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 option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Right Interior Design Certification Training near Platteville ColoradoChoosing the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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