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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Campbell CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Campbell CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Campbell CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Campbell CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Campbell CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Campbell CA 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 Designer Colleges

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Campbell CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Campbell California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Campbell CA school you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement 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 regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Campbell CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Campbell CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Campbell CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Campbell home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Campbell CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Campbell California

interior designed kitchen in Campbell CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Campbell California.