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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Jonesboro AR

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Jonesboro AR, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Jonesboro AR

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Jonesboro AR may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Jonesboro Arkansas interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Jonesboro AR. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select 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. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance 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 university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Jonesboro AR student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Jonesboro AR home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Jonesboro Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Jonesboro AR college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out 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 might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Jonesboro AR business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Jonesboro AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually 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 larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Jonesboro AR programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Jonesboro home, visit the college and monitor a couple of 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Jonesboro Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Jonesboro ArkansasPicking the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jonesboro Arkansas.