How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Shannon 35142
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Shannon AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Shannon AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus 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 hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Shannon AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Shannon AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered 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 provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain 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 cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Shannon AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Shannon AL residence. Obviously 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 expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Shannon AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Shannon AL program you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Shannon AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Shannon AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Shannon AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Shannon 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Shannon AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Shannon AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Shannon Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
The River Shannon (Irish: Abha na Sionainne, an tSionainn, an tSionna) is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km (224 miles). It drains the Shannon River Basin which has an area of 16,865 km2 (6,512 sq mi), one fifth of the area of Ireland.
The Shannon divides the west of Ireland (principally the province of Connacht) from the east and south (Leinster and most of Munster). County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception. The river represents a major physical barrier between east and west, with fewer than thirty-five crossing-points between Limerick city in the south and the village of Dowra in the north.
The Shannon has been an important waterway since antiquity, having first been mapped by the Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy. The river flows generally southwards from the Shannon Pot in County Cavan before turning west and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean through the 102.1 km (63.4 mi) long Shannon Estuary. Limerick city stands at the point where the river water meets the sea water of the estuary. The Shannon is tidal east of Limerick as far as the base of the Ardnacrusha dam.
Select the Right Interior Design School near Shannon AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Trade Schools. But it is still essential 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 assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Shannon AL.
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