How to Pick the Right Interior Design School near Randolph Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Randolph AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics 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 choices are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Randolph AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area 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 working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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 integrating Feng shui principles, Randolph AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Randolph AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish 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 credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Randolph AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to 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 programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Randolph AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few 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 examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college 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 schools. Also, a number of Randolph AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Randolph AL college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Randolph AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Randolph AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Randolph AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Randolph home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Randolph AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Designer Degree Randolph AL
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Designer Degree and wanted more info on the topic Top Online Interior Design Schools. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Randolph AL.
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Alvin Chester Randolph (born July 8, 1944) is a former safety in the NFL. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd round of the 1966 NFL Draft. He also played for the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, and the Buffalo Bills. Randolph played college football at the University of Iowa.
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