How to Select an Interior Designer Degree Program near New Providence New Jersey
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near New Providence NJ, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate 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 training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Some prospective 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 important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in New Providence NJ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in New Providence NJ typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, New Providence NJ designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design in New Providence NJ that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near New Providence NJ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous New Providence NJ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no New Providence NJ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your New Providence NJ area college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of New Providence NJ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the New Providence NJ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for New Jersey or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of New Providence NJ area business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of New Providence NJ area interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the New Providence NJ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the New Providence NJ interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design Certification Training near New Providence New JerseyChoosing the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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