What is Interior Design?

Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, and research. It involves communicating with the stakeholders of a project/clients, construction management, and all vendors involved in the job.

This profession is different from interior decorating. Interior decorators are all about aesthetics. They handle tasks such as selecting color schemes, purchasing new design items, arranging furniture layouts, and hanging wall art. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture.

Associate’s Degree

An Associate’s degree is going to be your most expeditious route to earn a college degree. It will make you eligible to begin your career. A typical program develops an awareness of the social, environmental, and cultural dimensions of interiors. The curricula and projects should investigate global concerns such as sustainability and economic inequality. In the process, you become a designer equipped with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to succeed in a growing field.

An Associate in Applied Science degree may have 65 credits of coursework. Depending on the school, you may be able to transfer a specified number (for example, 31) of credits from other institutions. However, at the associate’s level, this allowance may not benefit many students. On the other hand, those fortunate enough to transfer 31 approved credits may enter a ‘fast-track’ program. Even with the allowance of 21 Liberal Arts credits, this reduces your coursework to 44 credits (on a 65 credits degree). This reduction makes it possible to complete your Associate’s degree in three semesters.

Using all 31 transferable credits reduces your studies to only 34 credits. You could complete those credits within two semesters.

There are schools that offer on-demand learning. This affords the convenience of no set class schedules. You set the pace and study when you can. You can also access instructors and coaches through text, phone, and email, as well as chat with fellow classmates online. This format is another means to accelerate your degree completion.

Additional Education

The Associate degree is the most expedient degree at two years or less. At the next level, a Bachelor’s degree, you will add at least 2.5 years in an accelerated program. In lieu of the undergraduate degree, an option is certificates. These are on-campus and online training modules in a variety of interior design topics. For examples, there are courses in drawing interiors, space planning, basic drafting, residential interior design, and more.

Many schools offer online certificates in interior design that can be completed in less than two years. While this program will not make students eligible to take the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) examination, it will allow budding designers to begin apprenticing with other established professionals. Applicants with an Associate’s Degree require 5,280 hours of qualified interior design experience before sitting for the NCIDQ exam.

Online Resources

If you are looking for a short introduction to the basics of interior design, Udemy offers these courses. Their instructive video tutorials that will take you step-by-step through each process to make sure you know what you are doing. They have scores of interior design courses in a wide range of topics from 3D to Feng Shui. One of the courses titled How to Work with Interior Design Styles Like a Pro is six hours covering 41 lectures for under $200.

The New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) offers an online Basic Interior Design (BID) certificate. It introduces the student to the profession. This course helps students prepare for entry-level positions in the interior design field. It also prepares them for continuing their education with one of NYSID’s undergraduate interior design degree programs. Once students have completed this certificate, they can use the credits earned towards their undergraduate degree. The completion of this program will provide students with a portfolio, which is required when applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Associate of Applied Science in interior design.

Depending on your career aspirations, a certificate may suffice. However, most interior design companies will require more than just a certificate for employment. These certificates can act as introductory courses for those unsure if interior design is their career path. They also provide additional education and a means to expand your skills for those who have completed a degree.

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What Courses are there in an Interior Design Degree?

What is the Difference between a Degree in Interior Design and Interior Architecture?

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