How to Find an Interior Designer Program near Barrow Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Barrow AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Barrow AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Barrow AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Barrow AK. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely 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 as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Barrow AK homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded 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 discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Barrow AK residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Barrow AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Barrow AK college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Barrow AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Barrow AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Barrow AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Barrow home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Barrow AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Barrow AK?
Utqiagvik, (Inupiaq: Utqiaġvik, IPA: [utqe.ɑʁvik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik), officially the City of Utqiaġvik,[A] and previously Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/) (although still referred to as such) is the largest city and the borough seat of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. Nearby Point Barrow is the country's northernmost point. Utqiagvik's population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census.
The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."
The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Barrow AK
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Barrow AK.
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