How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Atherton 94027
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Atherton CA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Atherton CA may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Atherton CA interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Atherton CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually 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 creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Atherton CA homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain 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 college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Atherton CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Atherton CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Atherton CA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Atherton CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Atherton CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Atherton CA colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Atherton home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify 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 attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Atherton CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Atherton CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Atherton California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. In 1990, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2,500 and 9,999, and it is regularly ranked among the most expensive ZIP Codes in the country.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.
In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Atherton CA
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in What Classes To Take For Interior Design. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively 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 achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Atherton CA.
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