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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Rogers AR, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Rogers AR can specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Rogers Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Rogers AR. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 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 lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer 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 programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Rogers 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Rogers AR residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rogers Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Rogers AR school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. 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 a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Rogers AR business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Rogers AR schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Rogers AR schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rogers home, go to the college and monitor 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasChoosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions 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 excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.