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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chula Vista CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Chula Vista CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some potential 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 variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chula Vista CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Chula Vista CA may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential 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 picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Chula Vista California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Chula Vista CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Chula Vista 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Chula Vista CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Chula Vista California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Chula Vista CA school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Chula Vista CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Chula Vista CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chula Vista CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chula Vista home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chula Vista CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Chula Vista California

interior designed kitchen in Chula Vista CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chula Vista California.