Have a burning question that you want answered other than “What’s the point in asking someone if they lie”” Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to put ASK ME in the subject line. Due to the volume of questions and/or the obscurity of your particular question, we may not get to it in the next issue, but we’ll do our best to keep up.
I’m looking into going back to school for interior design. I already have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and Communications. What should I look for in a school” I want to make sure I’m going to the right school and getting a good education so that I don’t find myself making another career change a few years into my interior design career. Please help. (submitted by Krista Schuett) As answered by Laura McDonald, ASID / IIDA
Krista, the education that you already have will benefit you tremendously in the design world. Why” So many designers out there are uber-talented, but they haven’t a clue about business practices or marketing themselves. (As you have probably figured out, many creative people have this problem.)
Your worries about finding a worthy program are completely founded. There are definitely several things for you to think about, and we’ve covered them in some past issues.
First look at this GO AHEAD…ASK ME Q&A. It’ll it refer you back to another Q&A that is relatable to your question. As you can see, the main concerns are…
– In which area of design do I want to practice”
– What are my ultimate career goals”
– Where do I want to practice”
As design legislation gets tougher and more widespread, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for an individual to call him/herself an Interior Designer if he/she is not licensed, and the first step in that process is to go to a FIDER accredited school. (FYI: FIDER is now known the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.) You can find a list of those here. However, if your goal is to be decorator and purely stay in the residential realm, then you may not necessarily need to worry about it. (Another FYI: You can see an extensive list of design programs / schools in our Design Schools section.)
In all instances, when considering a program, ask the faculty to put you in touch with recent alumni or at least request a copy of some kind of alumni newsletter or a document showing job placement statistics / facts.
If at all possible, go visit the school in person. Make an appointment to walk through the department with a faculty member, ask about their collaborations with other departments on projects, check out the quality of their presentations and drafting equipment (both manual and computer-aided), see about internship opportunities, and generally barrage them with any questions you can think of.
I would also recommend your reading a series of reader feedback on the FIDER accreditation issue. Start here (at the end) because it will provide you with all of the links, allowing you to go back to the beginning of the debate. It should help you understand more about why the issue is so sensitive.
Krista, I hope that this helps, and thanks for reading PLiNTH & CHiNTZ!
Laura McDonald, ASID / IIDA
Founder of PLiNTHandCHiNTZ.com & CLUBCHiNTZ.com