How Do I Choose an Interior Design School?
Choosing a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what area of you study you have chosen. In the case of interior design education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. Selecting the right school for you will require research, but the following information is intended to help get you started in the selection process.
Don't be fooled by courses or programs that limit your education and professional development, but lure you in by offering convenient schedules and quick completion time. Before you select a school, ask yourself what your ultimate education and career goals are. In most cases, you will need at least an Associates degree and it is always better to leave your options open for obtaining a Bachelor's degree. With that said, choose a school that is recognized by other accredited institutions as well as help you meet the licensing requirements in the state where you plan to work.
Licensing requirements are another important aspect to consider when choosing an interior design school. The requirements for licensing vary from state to state, but typically require a proven combination of education and work experience. Educational requirements are met by attending schools that are accredited by the governing bodies recognized by your home state. One accrediting body that weighs heavily in interior design education is the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The best way to get the proper information is to contact several licensed, certified, and accredited interior designers in your area; ask them about licensing requirements in your state and any resources they might provide.
Other factors to consider when choosing an interior design school include any specific areas of study made available. If you have an idea of a specific area of interior design you would like to work in, research these types of positions and the education required to fill them. You can do this by checking job boards and local newspapers that advertise open employment opportunities. If you have a specific firm or company in mind, call their human resource department and ask them for information pertaining to the levels of education they require for employment consideration.
As you narrow down your school selection based on accreditation and area of study, compare the syllabus of several schools to see if you will be taking classes relevant to your education goals. Further investigate whether they help you prepare a professional portfolio and if they work with area companies to fill internships and assist with job placement. While these services may not be a requirement for certification, licensing, or accreditation, they are a benefit to you as a student.
You can always request information from a few select schools and compare them to one another. After a bit of research you will be armed with information to help you make a final decision and you will undoubtedly have uncovered the best school for your educational needs and career goals.
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