Guest Blogger #556, Entry #1264, June 8, 2012
Is a career in interior design for you? If you find yourself staring at a tree and picturing the gorgeous table or headboard it could become, poking through home goods stores and imagining how you would arrange certain items within your own space, or even moving your friend’s furniture while she’s in the other room to create a more suitable seating arrangement for her living room, perhaps you would excel at a career in interior design. But before you can begin offering your services as a specialist in this capacity (much less charging for your work) you’ll probably need some education in the field of interior design. And if you’re not quite sure where to get started, here are a few educational options you could pursue.
What interior design careers are for you?
If you want to work for an interior design firm (which is advisable if you’re just starting out) you will almost certainly need a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a degree in interior design, although it should probably be in a related field like architecture, art, or graphic design, just to name a few possibilities. You will, however, need to take some interior design classes in the course of earning your degree if you want to be hired by any kind of reputable firm upon graduation. In truth, your best bet is simply to work towards a degree in interior design, but if this isn’t an option at the school you’re attending or you make your career choice late in the game, you may be able to minor in design and use your major study as a way to differentiate yourself from the cookie-cutter candidates that only know interior design and can’t offer the added value of other fields of knowledge.
Choose colleges that have accreditation
Of course, if you know that you want to enter the field of interior design at the outset, you might want to look into schools that have received accreditation from the Federation for Interior Design Education Research (or FIDER). There are more than 150 colleges in the United States that bear this seal of approval, and if you plan to do a stint with any of the top interior design firms it behooves you to seek out a school that fits the bill since they will likely give preference to students that come out of one of these programs. Of course, you may not be terribly keen to work for a firm, preferring to go into business for yourself by starting your own interior design business. In this case, your educational goals could require some amount of expansion.
In addition to a background in design you might also want to take some business classes (you’ll need them if you want any hope of running your own successful operation). Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to attend an accredited institution in order to learn the ins and out of the business world. You can opt for a distance education via online study to get the knowledge you need in this area and save yourself some money in the process. And while you’re at it, you might want to see if you can hire on with an independent interior designer as a way to learn the ropes (like an apprentice), improving your education exponentially.
For more home decor ideas on Stagetecture, click here.