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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Jonesboro AR

How to Find the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Jonesboro AR, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Jonesboro AR

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Jonesboro AR may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Jonesboro Arkansas interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Jonesboro AR. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time 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 needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions 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 creative and technical components of the trade 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 two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Jonesboro Arkansas interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Jonesboro AR home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Jonesboro Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Jonesboro AR college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Jonesboro AR business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Jonesboro AR schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Jonesboro AR programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Jonesboro home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Jonesboro Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Jonesboro ArkansasPicking the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jonesboro Arkansas.