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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chula Vista CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Chula Vista CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get 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 crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chula Vista CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chula Vista CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Chula Vista California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Chula Vista CA. Your decision will no doubt 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 decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish 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.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Classes

Chula Vista CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Chula Vista CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After 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 a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Chula Vista CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected 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 programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school 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 Chula Vista California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Chula Vista CA program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Chula Vista CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chula Vista CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chula Vista CA schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chula Vista home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program 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 in the evening or on weekends near Chula Vista CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Chula Vista California

interior designed kitchen in Chula Vista CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider 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 business. But it is still imperative that you perform 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 ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chula Vista California.