How to Find an Interior Design Degree Program near Jefferson Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Jefferson AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate 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 may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them 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, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Jefferson AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Jefferson AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Jefferson AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive 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 degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve 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 degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Jefferson AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Jefferson AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm 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, a number of Jefferson AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Jefferson AL program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Jefferson AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Jefferson AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Jefferson AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Jefferson home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Jefferson AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Jefferson AL?
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Jefferson AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jefferson AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama