How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Alexandria 36250
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Alexandria AL, 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 imperative that you get the appropriate 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 may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of training 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, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Alexandria AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, 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 appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to 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 create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Alexandria AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Alexandria AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Alexandria AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded 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 dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Alexandria AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program 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 outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Alexandria AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Alexandria AL school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college 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 college has a large network of Alexandria AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Alexandria AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Alexandria AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Alexandria home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school 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 Alexandria AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Alexandria AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Alexandria Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/;Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Coptic: ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ Alexandria or ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakote) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great,king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Alexandria AL
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Courses. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Alexandria AL.
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