How to Choose an Interior Designer Degree Program near Lebanon Indiana
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Lebanon IN, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class 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 amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Lebanon IN if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Lebanon IN frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Lebanon IN designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Lebanon IN that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Lebanon IN.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Lebanon IN area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no Lebanon IN area interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your Lebanon IN area school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Lebanon IN employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Lebanon IN college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Indiana or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Lebanon IN area business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of Lebanon IN area interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help 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 program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Lebanon IN colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the school 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Lebanon IN interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Lebanon IndianaSelecting the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. 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, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
Some Additional Cities of Interest in Indiana