How to Choose the Right Interior Design School near Southaven Mississippi
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Southaven MS, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Southaven MS may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- 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 instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Southaven MS interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Southaven MS. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Mississippi community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly 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 needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Southaven MS homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges 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 commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Southaven MS residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer school and program 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Southaven MS employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Southaven MS program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Mississippi 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 want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Southaven MS business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Southaven MS schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide 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 imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Southaven MS colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Southaven home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Southaven MS, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Online School Interior Design Southaven MS
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online School Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Education. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Southaven MS.
Other Mississippi Designer Locations
Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a principal city in Greater Memphis. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi and the second most populous suburb of Memphis. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city's name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.
Southaven began as a village when Memphis homebuilder Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn) wished to develop a few residential subdivisions featuring small starter homes just across the Mississippi border from Whitehaven, Tennessee, an unincorporated suburb of Memphis. Whitehaven was eventually annexed by Memphis. Officially incorporated in 1980, Southaven is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeastern United States. In just 20 years, Southaven doubled its land area, while its population tripled.
The construction of Interstate 55 through Southaven in the 1970s helped to promote growth and make for easier access to the city from Memphis, Jackson, St. Louis, and Chicago. Interstate 69, which will eventually run from Canada to Mexico, was cosigned with I-55 in Southaven in 2007.
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