How to Choose an Interior Designer Degree Program near Zimmerman Minnesota
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Zimmerman MN, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. 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 before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work 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 formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Zimmerman MN may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. 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 incorporating Feng shui concepts, Zimmerman MN interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Zimmerman MN. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Minnesota vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Zimmerman MN homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. 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 programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower 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 college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Zimmerman MN home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Zimmerman MN employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Zimmerman MN college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Zimmerman MN business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Zimmerman MN schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often 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 personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Zimmerman MN schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Zimmerman home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask 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 sure that the interior design college you choose offers 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 Zimmerman MN, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Zimmerman MN?
The Village of Lake Fremont was incorporated in 1910. In 1967, the town was renamed the City of Zimmerman. Lake Fremont was named for the western explorer, John C. Frémont, and the name Zimmerman derives from Moses Zimmerman, a local farmer who was influential in promoting the idea of the Great Northern Railway coming through the area.
Every year in Zimmerman on Memorial Day weekend there is a community event called the "Wild West Days". This includes a carnival in Lion's Park, a parade, softball tournament, 5k charity run and many other activities. The parade usually includes the Middle/High School's band students (including Zimmerman High School Drumline), the fire department from Zimmerman and surrounding areas and floats from the area's many businesses. Also, the weekend after Labor Day the Zimmerman/Livonia Fire Dept. has their annual open house with tours of the fire station, safety demonstrations and other activities that are followed by a street dance in front of the station. This event is usually complemented by events involving many of the area churches and organizations.
Zimmerman is located close to many lakes. Lake Fremont is a spring fed lake located within the eastern most boundary of the city. Lake Fremont offers fishing, boating and swimming. Zimmerman is also the gateway to the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the few natural oak savannas in the country. Zimmerman is also near the Sand Dunes State Forest, which features many miles of horse and snowmobile trails for one's enjoyment. The Sand Dunes State Forest also has camping, fishing, and swimming.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Zimmerman MN
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Zimmerman MN.
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