How to Pick an Interior Design College near New Durham New Hampshire
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near New Durham NH, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in New Durham NH may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, New Durham NH interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in New Durham NH. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous New Hampshire vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their New Durham NH homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. 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 colleges may also obtain 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.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your New Durham NH residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college 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 training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many New Durham NH employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the New Durham NH program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of New Durham NH business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the New Durham NH schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New Durham NH schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your New Durham home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near New Durham NH, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in New Durham NH?
Durham, New Hampshire
The primary settlement in the town, where 10,345 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Durham census-designated place (CDP) and includes the densely populated portion of the town centered on the intersection of New Hampshire Route 108 and Main Street and including the university which dominates the town.
Situated beside Great Bay at the mouth of the Oyster River, Durham was originally called "Oyster River Plantation". It was settled in 1635 by pioneers who traveled up the Piscataqua River and across Little Bay to settle at the falls of the Oyster River.
At the time, the land that is now New Hampshire belonged to Massachusetts; not until 1692 did the New Hampshire colony finally gain full and permanent independence from its southern neighbor. Most of the coastal area was divided among four townships, and for its first century, Durham was part of Dover. The village location was ideal for its fresh water, natural meadows for livestock, and the transportation opportunities afforded by the waterways leading to the Atlantic Ocean. The land along the river was quickly settled, and nearby dense forests provided the timber necessary to construct homes as well as boats. Oyster River Plantation took the form of a small agricultural village, and the first generation of residents worked to clear and shape the land for planting.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near New Durham NH
Picking the right interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing 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 imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Durham NH.
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