How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Woodbridge Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Woodbridge CT, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right 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 preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important 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 class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Woodbridge CT can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Woodbridge CT interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Woodbridge CT. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals 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 select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Connecticut vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Woodbridge CT homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. 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 attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools 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 traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Woodbridge CT home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Woodbridge CT employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Woodbridge CT college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Woodbridge CT business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Woodbridge CT schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Woodbridge CT programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Woodbridge home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodbridge CT, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Schools With Interior Design Woodbridge CT
Picking the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools With Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic How To Become A Interior Designer. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Woodbridge CT.
Other Connecticut Designer Locations
Woodbridge is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,990 at the 2010 census. It is one of the wealthiest towns in Connecticut, ranking 8th in the state per the 2010 US Census in terms of per-capita income, and is home to many of the faculty of Yale University. The town center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Woodbridge Green Historic District.
Woodbridge was originally called "Amity", having been carved out of land originally belonging to New Haven and Milford as an independent parish in 1739. In 1742, the Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge was ordained in Amity, and it is after him that the modern town was named. Woodbridge was incorporated in 1784.
In 1661, the town was the location of one of the hideouts of the "Regicides" — three of the judges who signed the death warrant for King Charles I of England. The ruins of their hideout can be found on the nearby West Rock ridge, which runs along the town's eastern border.
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