Home >> California >> Campbell >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Campbell CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Campbell CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Campbell CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Campbell CA can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Campbell California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Campbell CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply 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 lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Schools

Campbell CA student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Campbell CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Campbell CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Campbell California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Campbell CA program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Campbell CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Campbell CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Campbell CA colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Campbell home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Campbell CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Campbell California

interior designed kitchen in Campbell CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Campbell California.