How to Select the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Thibodaux Louisiana
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Thibodaux LA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Thibodaux LA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Thibodaux LA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Thibodaux LA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Louisiana community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily 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.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Thibodaux LA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right 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 task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Thibodaux LA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Thibodaux LA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Thibodaux LA college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Louisiana or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Thibodaux LA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Thibodaux LA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Thibodaux LA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Thibodaux home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Thibodaux LA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Interior Design Schools Thibodaux LA
Picking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online Interior Design Schools and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Colleges Online. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Thibodaux LA.
Other Louisiana Designer Locations
Thibodaux (/ˈtɪbədoʊ/ TIB-ə-doh) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States, along the banks of Bayou Lafourche in the northwestern part of the parish. The population was 14,567 at the 2010 census. Thibodaux is a principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first European colonists were French, who settled here in the 18th century when the area was claimed as part of La Louisiane. They imported African slaves as workers and developed sugar cane plantations.
This was incorporated as a town in 1830 under the name Thibodauxville, in honor of local planter Henry Schuyler Thibodaux. He provided land for the village center and served as acting governor of Louisiana in 1824. The area was developed in the antebellum period for sugar cane plantations, and Thibodaux was the trading center of the agricultural area. The name was changed to Thibodeaux in 1838. The current spelling Thibodaux was officially adopted in 1918.
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