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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beverly Hills CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Beverly Hills CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beverly Hills CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Beverly Hills CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. 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 specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Beverly Hills California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Beverly Hills CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. 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 technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer 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. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally 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 several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

Beverly Hills CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the convenience of their Beverly Hills CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Beverly Hills CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Beverly Hills California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Beverly Hills CA program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Beverly Hills CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Beverly Hills CA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Beverly Hills CA programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Beverly Hills home, visit 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Beverly Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Beverly Hills CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several points to think about 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 profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beverly Hills California.