How to Pick the Right Interior Design College near Belk Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Belk AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 alternatives are available.
Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Belk AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including 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 selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Belk AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Belk AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects 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 position 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 offer alternatives 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. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want 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.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Belk AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected 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 Belk AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Belk AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Belk AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Belk AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Belk AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Belk AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Belk home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Belk AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Best Undergraduate Interior Design Schools Belk AL
Picking the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Best Undergraduate Interior Design Schools and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Online Classes. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Belk AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Belk, Inc., is an American department store chain founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, North Carolina, with nearly 300 locations in 16 states. Belk stores and Belk.com offer apparel, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings and wedding registry.
Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, North Carolina, outside Charlotte. The store was first called "New York Racket" and then "Belk Brothers", after Belk made his brother, physician Dr. John Belk, his partner. Belk bought in volume to pass savings on and sold at fixed prices, then a relatively unusual practice.
By 1909, the company had moved its headquarters to Charlotte and built a huge flagship store on Trade and Tryon Streets in downtown Charlotte, which would remain the company's headquarters until it was closed in 1988 to make way for the construction of what is now Bank of America Corporate Center. The business grew steadily, relying on "bargain sales" and advertising to grow the business and increase its influence throughout the South.