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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Rogers AR, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Rogers AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Rogers Arkansas interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Rogers AR. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered 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 supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things 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 programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use 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 field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Rogers Arkansas interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Rogers AR home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rogers Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Rogers AR program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Rogers AR business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Rogers AR schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Rogers AR programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Rogers home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rogers AR, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you 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.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasChoosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.