How to Choose an Interior Design Program near Winnetka Illinois
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Winnetka IL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important 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 choices are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Winnetka IL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They 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 incorporating Feng shui principles, Winnetka IL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Winnetka IL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Illinois trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally 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 degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Winnetka IL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Winnetka IL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest 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 as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Winnetka IL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Winnetka IL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. 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 indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Winnetka IL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Winnetka IL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Winnetka IL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Winnetka home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Winnetka IL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Winnetka IL?
Winnetka (/wɪˈnɛtkə/) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 16 miles north of downtown Chicago. The population was 12,187 at the 2010 census. The village is one of the wealthiest places in the nation in terms of household income, and the richest in Illinois.
Winnetka is located at 42°6′22″N 87°44′16″W / 42.10611°N 87.73778°W / 42.10611; -87.73778 (42.106227, −87.73801). Winnetka is located 650 feet (200 m) above sea level and has a magnetic declination of 3° 10' W. According to the 2010 census, Winnetka has a total area of 3.893 square miles (10.08 km2), of which 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2) (or 97.87%) is land and 0.083 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 2.13%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,187 people, 4,102 households, and 3,328 families residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 94.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Winnetka IL
Picking the right interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Winnetka IL.
More Awesome Cities in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 538