How to Pick an Interior Design College near West Fargo North Dakota
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near West Fargo ND, it’s time to begin 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 proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become 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 proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in West Fargo ND can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, West Fargo ND interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in West Fargo ND. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous North Dakota trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically 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 minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want 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 adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their West Fargo ND homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on 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 campus must be within commuting distance from your West Fargo ND home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many West Fargo ND employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the West Fargo ND program you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for North Dakota or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of West Fargo ND business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the West Fargo ND schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide 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 aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the West Fargo ND schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your West Fargo home, visit the college 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Fargo ND, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in West Fargo ND?
West Fargo, North Dakota
West Fargo is a city in Cass County, North Dakota, United States. It is, as of the 2016 Census Estimates, the fifth largest city in the state of North Dakota with a population estimated at 34,858, and it is one of the state's fastest growing cities. West Fargo was founded in 1926. The city is part of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.72 square miles (38.12 km2), of which, 14.44 square miles (37.40 km2) is land and 0.28 square miles (0.73 km2) is water.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, West Fargo has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near West Fargo ND
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you conduct 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 determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Fargo ND.
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