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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Campbell CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Campbell CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Campbell CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing 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 attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Campbell CA may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Campbell California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Campbell CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations 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 roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business 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 supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices 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. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish 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 professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Campbell California interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Campbell CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school 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 as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Campbell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Campbell CA college you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Campbell CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Campbell CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Campbell CA programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Campbell home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Campbell CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Campbell California

interior designed kitchen in Campbell CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential 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 properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Campbell California.