How to Pick an Interior Designer Course near Marion Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Marion KY, 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 important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address 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 class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Marion KY if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Marion KY typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Marion KY designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design in Marion KY that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Marion KY.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Marion KY 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 extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want 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.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For students who to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no Marion KY area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your Marion KY area school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marion KY employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools 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 necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Marion KY college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Kentucky or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Marion KY area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of Marion KY area interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marion KY schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the Marion KY interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, confirm that those classes are available. 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 due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Right Interior Designer Program near Marion KentuckySelecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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