How to Find the Best Interior Design College near Alexandria Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Alexandria AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Alexandria AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Alexandria AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Alexandria AL. Your decision 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 regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt 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 professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Alexandria AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Alexandria AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Alexandria AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Alexandria AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Alexandria AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Alexandria AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Alexandria AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Alexandria home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Alexandria AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Bachelors Degree Alexandria AL
Selecting the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Bachelors Degree and wanted more info on the topic Best Colleges For Interior Design. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Alexandria AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
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.
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