How to Find the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Anchorage Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Anchorage AK, 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 get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Anchorage AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas 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 numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Anchorage AK interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Anchorage AK. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver 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 secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining 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. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Anchorage AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Anchorage AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Anchorage AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Anchorage AK school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Anchorage AK business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Anchorage AK schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anchorage AK programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Anchorage home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Course Anchorage AK
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Course and wanted more info on the topic Education For Interior Design. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anchorage AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu; Russian: Анкоридж) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 291,538 residents in 2018, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40% of the state's population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. The Anchorage metropolitan area, which includes Anchorage and the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 399,148 in 2018, accounting for more than half the state's population. At 1,706 square miles (4,420 km2) of land area, the city is the fourth-largest by area in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, which has 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2).
Anchorage is in Southcentral Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2), encompassing the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
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