How to Select an Interior Designer Degree Program near Tupelo Mississippi
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Tupelo MS, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important 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 available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Tupelo MS can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate 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, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Tupelo MS interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Tupelo MS. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Mississippi community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Tupelo MS homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline 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.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Tupelo MS residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm 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 accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tupelo MS employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Tupelo MS school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Tupelo MS business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Tupelo MS colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tupelo MS colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Tupelo home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tupelo MS, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Tupelo MS?
Tupelo /ˈtuːpəloʊ/ is the county seat and the largest city of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. The seventh-largest city in the state, it is situated in Northeast Mississippi, between Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama. It is accessed by Interstate 22. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,546, with the surrounding counties of Lee, Pontotoc and Itawamba supporting a population of 139,671
Tupelo was the first city to gain an electrical power grid under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's program of the Tennessee Valley Authority construction of facilities during the Great Depression. The city is also the birthplace of singer Elvis Presley.
French and British colonists traded with these indigenous peoples and tried to make alliances with them. The French established towns in Mississippi mostly on the Gulf Coast. At times, the European powers came into armed conflict. On May 26, 1736, the Battle of Ackia was fought near the site of present-day Tupelo; British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the then-Chickasaw village of Ackia. The French, under Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, had sought to link Louisiana with Acadia and the other northern colonies of New France.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Tupelo MS
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tupelo MS.
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