How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Wasilla 99654
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Wasilla AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills 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 examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Wasilla AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several 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 use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Wasilla AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Wasilla AK. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Wasilla AK homes, there are accredited online 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 accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Wasilla AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Wasilla AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Wasilla AK college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Wasilla AK business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Wasilla AK schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Wasilla AK colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Wasilla home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wasilla AK, confirm 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, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Wasilla AK?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Wasilla Alaska area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Wasilla is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, United States and the sixth-largest city in Alaska. It is located on the northern point of Cook Inlet in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of the southcentral part of the state. The city's population was 7,831 at the 2010 census, up from 5,469 in 2000. Estimates in 2016 put the population at roughly 9,748. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 396,142 in 2013.
Established at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and Old Carle Wagon Road, the city prospered at the expense of the nearby mining town of Knik. Historically entrepreneurial, the economic base shifted in the 1970s from small-scale agriculture and recreation to support for workers employed in Anchorage or on Alaska's North Slope oilfields and related infrastructure. The George Parks Highway turned the town into a commuter suburb of Anchorage. Several state and federal agencies have offices in Wasilla, including the Alaska Departments of Environmental Diversion, Racism and Divisions of Public Assistance, Social Services.
Wasilla gained international attention when Sarah Palin, who served as Mayor of Wasilla before her election as Governor of Alaska, was chosen by John McCain as his running mate for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 United States presidential election.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Wasilla AK
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in What To Major In To Become An Interior Designer. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wasilla AK.
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