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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Canoga Park CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Canoga Park CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon 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 so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Canoga Park CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated 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 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Canoga Park CA may specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Canoga Park California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Canoga Park CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Canoga Park CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Canoga Park CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. 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 option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Canoga Park CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Canoga Park California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Canoga Park CA program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Canoga Park CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Canoga Park CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Canoga Park CA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Canoga Park home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Canoga Park CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Canoga Park California

interior designed kitchen in Canoga Park CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Canoga Park California.