How to Select the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near White Plains New York
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near White Plains NY, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate 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 vital that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 options are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in White Plains NY can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, White Plains NY interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in White Plains NY. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many New York trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their White Plains NY homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving 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 decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your White Plains NY residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many White Plains NY employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the White Plains NY school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for New York or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of White Plains NY business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the White Plains NY schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the White Plains NY programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your White Plains home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near White Plains NY, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Colleges With Interior Design White Plains NY
Picking the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Colleges With Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Colleges And Universities. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in White Plains NY.
Other New York Designer Locations
White Plains, New York
White Plains is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. An inner suburb of New York City, it is the county seat and commercial hub of Westchester, a densely populated suburban county that is home to approximately one million people. White Plains is located in south-central Westchester, with its downtown (Mamaroneck Avenue) 25 miles (40 km) north of Midtown Manhattan.
As of 2013, the city's total population was estimated to be 57,866, up from 53,077 at the 2010 census. According to the city government, the daytime weekday population is estimated at 250,000. The city was ranked third in the top 10 places to live in New York for 2014, according to national online real estate brokerage Movoto.
At the time of the Dutch settlement of Manhattan in the early 17th century, the region had been used as farmland by the Weckquaeskeck tribe, a Wappinger people, and was called "Quarropas". To early traders it was known as "the White Plains", either from the groves of white balsam which are said to have covered it, or from the heavy mist that local tradition suggests hovered over the swamplands near the Bronx River. The first non-native settlement came in November 1683, when a party of Connecticut Puritans moved westward from an earlier settlement in Rye and bought about 4,400 acres (18 km2), presumably from the Weckquaeskeck. However, John Richbell of Mamaroneck claimed to have earlier title to much of the territory through his purchase of a far larger plot extending 20 miles (32 km) inland, perhaps from a different tribe. The matter wasn't settled until 1721, when a Royal Patent for White Plains was granted by King George II.
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