How to Find an Interior Designer Degree Program near Plantsville Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Plantsville CT, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Plantsville CT if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Plantsville CT frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Plantsville CT designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Plantsville CT that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Plantsville CT.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Plantsville CT area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order 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 professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no Plantsville CT area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your Plantsville CT area school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Plantsville CT employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 school. And in some of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Plantsville CT program you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Plantsville CT area business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of Plantsville CT area interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Plantsville CT programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the school and sit in on 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the Plantsville CT interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Interior Designer Certification Training near Plantsville ConnecticutPicking the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded 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 assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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