How to Find an Interior Design Degree Program near Watkinsville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Watkinsville GA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important 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 options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many 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 functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Watkinsville GA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to 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 looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Watkinsville GA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Watkinsville GA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Georgia community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things 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 mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Watkinsville GA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Watkinsville GA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Watkinsville GA employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Watkinsville GA program you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support 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 a good 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 school has a sizable network of Watkinsville GA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Watkinsville GA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Watkinsville GA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Watkinsville home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose 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 at night or on weekends near Watkinsville GA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Watkinsville GA?
Watkinsville is the largest city and seat of Oconee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,832. It served as the seat of Clarke County until 1872 when the county seat of that county was moved to Athens, a move which ultimately led to the creation of Oconee County in 1875. It is included in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,097 people, 827 households, and 578 families residing in the town. The population density was 650.6 people per square mile (251.4/km²). There were 862 housing units at an average density of 267.4 per square mile (103.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.08% White, 7.34% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.
There were 827 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.99.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Watkinsville GA
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Watkinsville GA.
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