How to Find an Interior Designer Course near Oxford Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Oxford GA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Oxford GA if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Oxford GA frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Oxford GA designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design in Oxford GA that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers 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 including Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Oxford GA.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Oxford GA area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things 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. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no Oxford GA area interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your Oxford GA area college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Oxford GA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Oxford GA college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Georgia or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Oxford GA area business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of Oxford GA area interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Oxford GA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the college and monitor 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the Oxford GA interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Designer Program near Oxford GeorgiaSelecting the right interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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