How to Select the Right Interior Design Program Tarpon Springs 34688
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Tarpon Springs FL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Tarpon Springs FL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Tarpon Springs FL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Tarpon Springs FL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Florida trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Tarpon Springs FL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college 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 online or distance education. 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 perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Tarpon Springs FL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tarpon Springs FL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Tarpon Springs FL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Florida or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask 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 might also indicate that the college has a large network of Tarpon Springs FL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Tarpon Springs FL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tarpon Springs FL colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Tarpon Springs home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Tarpon Springs FL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Tarpon Springs FL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Tarpon Springs Florida area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 23,484 at the 2010 census. Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. Downtown Tarpon has long been a focal point and is currently undergoing beautification.
The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, was first settled by white and black farmers and fishermen around 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpon jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. In 1882, Hamilton Disston, who in the previous year had purchased the land where the city of Tarpon Springs now stands, ordered the creation of a town plan for the future city. On February 12, 1887, Tarpon Springs became the first incorporated city in what is now Pinellas County. Less than a year later on January 13, 1888, the Orange Belt Railway, the first railroad line to be built in what is now Pinellas County, arrived in the city. During this time the area was developed as a wintering spot for wealthy northerners.
In the 1880s, John K. Cheyney founded the first local sponge business. The industry continued to grow in the 1890s. Many blacks and whites from Key West and the Bahamas settled in Tarpon Springs to hook sponges and then process them. A few Greek immigrants also arrived in this city during the 1890s to work in the sponge industry.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Tarpon Springs FL
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify 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 Best Colleges For Interior Design Majors. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review 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 achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tarpon Springs FL.
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