Design School Is Not Just About Best Interior Ideas

by Jack Blacksmith

People who enjoy watching home improvement shows on television often imagine what it would be like to have a career in interior design. They may enjoy home design and redecorate their homes regularly. Surely it couldn’t be that hard to break into that arena, could it?

Actually, it is quite a competitive field. There are more than 130 North American programs that teach interior design. These are programs accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Eduction, the governing body that sets the standards for interior design curricula. There are probably many more programs that don’t have that accreditation, but you would do well to go to an accredited school. Many of the best programs offer valuable internships or co-operative education opportunities to help you get a job right out of school. The cost of these programs varies, but as with most higher education, financial aid may be available.

Interior design programs are hightly competitive. To qualify for a spot in one of them, students often have to start assembling portfolios of their ideas as early as high school or trade schools. It’s never too early to start collecting ideas of what you think of as good or bad design.

Even excellent students may have to apply at several schools across the country in order get a coveted spot. To improve your chances, try to get a part-time job in a furniture store, design studio or a similar business. Ask a designer if you could shadow him or her on the job for a day and offer to help with some of the “grunt work” — moving furniture, make telemarketing calls etc. Not only will it impress the program’s recruiters, it will create valuable contacts for future jobs once you finish school. Interior design is a field that’s all about contacts and “who you know.”

You may think that interior design programs only cover manipulating spaces, refacing kitchen cabinets and determining which students come up with the best interior ideas. Actually good programs cover many aspects of art, architecture and other disciplines, such as business management. Students learn how to determine the best locations for stairs and walls as well as how to run a business well.

Marketing, drafting, business ethics and accounting are all important topics for budding interior designers to master. Math and science are important for the technical aspects of design while the arts are important for inspiration. Management courses are important for those all-important people skills. Even if you ultimately decide that interior design is not the field for you, you won’t go wrong with the education you get in the program

A career in interior design takes time and effort to get started but with patience you will have a profitable career that’s all about making people comfortable.

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