How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program Homer 99603
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Homer AK, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Homer AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate 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 stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Homer AK interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Homer AK. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs 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 technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such 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 primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order 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 required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Homer AK homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Homer AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Homer AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Homer AK college you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Homer AK business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Homer AK schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Homer AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Homer home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homer AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Homer AK?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Homer Alaska area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Homer AK
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Training Courses. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Homer AK.
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