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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Cathedral City CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Cathedral City CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become 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 reviewing before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Cathedral City CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone 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, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Cathedral City CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Cathedral City California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Cathedral City CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 furnish advanced training in design 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree 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", 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Cathedral City California interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Cathedral City CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cathedral City California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Cathedral City CA college you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Cathedral City CA business connections 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 Cathedral City CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing 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 Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Cathedral City CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Cathedral City home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Cathedral City CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Cathedral City California

interior designed kitchen in Cathedral City CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Cathedral City California.