Home >> Arkansas >> North Little Rock >> Interior Design Degrees Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near North Little Rock AR

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near North Little Rock AR, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in North Little Rock AR

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone 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, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in North Little Rock AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, 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 primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, North Little Rock Arkansas interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in North Little Rock AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

North Little Rock 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your North Little Rock AR home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of North Little Rock Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the North Little Rock AR college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of North Little Rock AR business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the North Little Rock AR schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the North Little Rock AR programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your North Little Rock home, visit the school and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near North Little Rock Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in North Little Rock ArkansasSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in North Little Rock Arkansas.