For certain careers, you’ll need to have an education in order to forward yourself in your field of choice, in fact, there are some things you simply can’t do without a degree. Some careers — such as interior design — are a little different. There are many self-made interior designers out there that never received formal training.
There are some very clear benefits, however, to going to school and getting a focused education in interior decorator. The first benefit is learning. Learning is never a bad thing and even if you possess the skills to be an interior decorator without any training, getting more education in design whether it’s interior design schools, photography schools, or other schools for a related field will provide you with information that you probably wouldn’t have discovered on your own or that would have taken years to discover. It’s also beneficial that you’ll be learning interior design from experts in the field with years of experience; this sort of tutelage can’t be underestimated.
These experts can save you time and money by helping you to avoid some of the common mistakes that interior designers make. They can also provide you with industry contacts and mentors that you would be hard pressed to find on your own. Some would say that interior design is an art form and you either have the talent or you don’t and no amount of education will change that.
While that may be true, to a certain extent, there are basic elements of design that can be taught to anyone. What happens to a person once they learn those basic elements is another story, but to think that interior design is only meant for people with a natural affinity for being artistic is not only exclusionary, but it is a poor excuse for neglecting a proper education on interior design.
More states are requiring interior designers to hold state licensing. In many cases, a degree, either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in interior design is necessary to sit for the licensing exam. Sometimes, years of experience can substitute for formal interior design education. In some states, however, both are required to receive the proper licensing. If you are looking for credentials from organizations like the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ) or other organizations and certification providers then you will have to show college transcripts verifying that you completed at least an Associates Degree in design in order to be a member of these prestigious organizations. Being members of these organizations can help to further your career and makes you more appealing to design firms should you choose to use your skills for that kind of career.
The bottom line is that whether you have the natural ability to be an interior designer but need the formal education or you have no skill but interior design interests you, going to a design school should be your priority. With the short term and long term benefits of a school as it relates to your success as an interior designer, you simply can’t go wrong.