How to Pick an Interior Designer Course near Buzzards Bay Massachusetts
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Buzzards Bay MA, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics 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 Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Buzzards Bay MA if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Buzzards Bay MA frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Buzzards Bay MA designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of 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 appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Buzzards Bay MA that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Buzzards Bay MA.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Buzzards Bay MA area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things 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 largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no Buzzards Bay MA area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your Buzzards Bay MA area college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to 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 qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers 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 outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Buzzards Bay MA employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Buzzards Bay MA college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Massachusetts or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Buzzards Bay MA area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of Buzzards Bay MA area interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Buzzards Bay MA colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the Buzzards Bay MA interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design College near Buzzards Bay MassachusettsPicking the right interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
Some Additional Cities of Interest in Massachusetts