How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Watkins Colorado
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Watkins CO, 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 imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 choices are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Watkins CO may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Watkins CO interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Watkins CO. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven 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 required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many Colorado trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things 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 largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Watkins CO homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure 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 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Watkins CO home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Watkins CO employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Watkins CO program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Watkins CO business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Watkins CO colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Watkins CO colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Watkins home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out 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? Finally, verify that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Watkins CO, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
I Want To Become An Interior Designer Watkins CO
Picking the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in I Want To Become An Interior Designer and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design University. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Watkins CO.
Other Colorado Designer Locations
Michaela Suzanne Watkins (born December 14, 1971) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known for starring on the Hulu series Casual and on the short-lived ABC sitcom Trophy Wife, as well as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2008 to 2009. She has also recurred on television series such as The New Adventures of Old Christine, Enlightened and Transparent, and has had appearances in the films The Back-up Plan (2010), Wanderlust (2012) and Enough Said (2013).
Watkins was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of former Latin teacher mother Myrna Watkins and Syracuse University mathematician father Mark Watkins. She has two sisters, Rebecca Kent and Sarah Fitts.
She was raised in DeWitt, New York, a suburb of Syracuse, in a Jewish family. After her parents' divorce, Watkins' mother obtained a marketing degree and relocated the family to Boston when Watkins was 15.
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