Home >> Arkansas >> Jonesboro >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Jonesboro AR

How to Find the Best Interior Designer 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 essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several 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 essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs 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 accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. 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 choices are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Jonesboro AR

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Jonesboro AR may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to 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, Jonesboro Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Jonesboro AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish 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 training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Schools

Jonesboro AR student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Jonesboro AR homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Jonesboro AR home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease 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 selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college 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 schools. Also, a number of Jonesboro Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs 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 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, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Jonesboro AR program you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement 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 regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Jonesboro AR business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Jonesboro AR colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Jonesboro AR schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Jonesboro home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Jonesboro Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Jonesboro ArkansasPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting 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 imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jonesboro Arkansas.