How to Pick an Interior Design School near Pryor Oklahoma
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Pryor OK, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Pryor OK if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Pryor OK often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Pryor OK designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design in Pryor OK that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Pryor OK.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Pryor OK area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no Pryor OK area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school 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 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 setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your Pryor OK area school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Pryor OK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Pryor OK college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Pryor OK area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of Pryor OK area interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Pryor OK programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the Pryor OK interior design program you enroll in provides 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, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Ideal Interior Designer Certification Training near Pryor OklahomaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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