What you need to know about studying Interior Design online

Student in Interior designer
You’ve been dreaming about pursuing an interior design career, but perhaps you are reluctant to attend class in person.

Take heart: even before the pandemic, online courses have become increasingly popular. Online educational programs first appeared in 1989, when the University of Phoenix began participating in one of the first consumer online services, CompuServe. By 2018, nearly 7,000,000 students were enrolled in distance education courses in degree-granting institutions in the United States.

In this article, we will discuss an interior design career path for those wishing to become an interior designer from the comfort of their own home. There are many options, including many free online interior design courses, as well as interior design courses for beginners.

The Advantages of Studying Interior Design Online

Whether you want to specialize in residential or commercial interior design, learn more about design style, lighting design and building codes, let’s start by taking a look at the advantages of studying interior design online:

Cost: Online courses are often less expensive than in-person learning, with some interior design programs charge 40% less for studying interior online as opposed to in person because of the decreased expense of overhead. In addition, you will save money on room and board, and won’t have the cost of commuting.   

Convenience and Flexibility: Online students have the ability to learn from home and don’t have fixed class schedules, allowing them to take classes and plan schoolwork on their own time.

Study at Your Own Pace: Students can pursue their interior design studies at their own pace and on their own schedule. They also don’t have to take notes during lectures because they can simple press the “pause” button or watch tutorials more than once. Students can even keep a job and take classes at the same time.

Improved Technology: Internet penetration and digital tools such as video conferencing have made taking interior design courses online not only more possible, reaching a greater global audience, but also more similar to real-life coursework. Many people now have the technical skills and knowledge of navigating the internet that they might not have had in the past. Online discussion groups and online whiteboards serve to further improve the online learning experience.

Interactivity: Online courses have become more visual and interactive. Because of the latest advances in technology, classes can more easily replicate the feeling of an actual design studio.

Great for a Career Change: It’s never too late to start a new career. You can be any age to study interior design online, even take an interior design course for beginners to see if this is something you truly would like to pursue. The interior design profession is filled with people who have made a career change, perhaps after they uncovered a creative streak or wanted to turn a hobby into a career. You can find the inspiration for interior design everywhere: on TV and on the internet, especially on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, where people love to show off their interior design skills.

What are the Different Types of Free Online Interior Design Courses?

There are many different choices for those who want to pursue an interior design path online, from free online interior design courses to obtaining an interior design degree from an accredited institution.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs are free online courses in which anyone can enroll, and which you can take on your journey to becoming a professional interior designer. They provide a flexible way to learn new skills and are used by millions of people around the world for career development or change, college preparation and supplemental learning. It offers an opportunity to take a beginner’s course in interior design to see if this is a career you would like to pursue, or take a specific course in bathroom design, home decorating, or CAD.   

The term comes from the following:

  •   Massive: Enrollments are unlimited
  •   Open: Anyone can enroll and there is no admission process
  •   Online: They are delivered via the internet
  •   Course: They teach a specific subject

They typically consist of pre-recorded videos, readings, assessments and discussion forums. They are created by universities but administered by platforms such as edX and Coursera. Courses can be started at any time and are usually self-paced, although some are run on a schedule. MOOCs usually run from one to sixteen weeks, and learning is tested with auto-graded quizzes or assignments with peer feedback. Some offer certificates of completion, but often these need to be paid for. Some MOOCs allow users to earn academic credit from specific institutions, but this requires paying for the certificate, completing the course work and then enrolling in a degree program. Some universities even offer online degrees based on MOOCs. 

Obtaining Your Interior Design Degree Online

It is certainly possible to earn a degree in interior design from an accredited program online. There are many university programs that offer an accredited online education, including both an Associates and Bachelor Degree in Interior Design. Pursuing a degree online gives students flexibility, especially if they are working professionals. A majority of online interior design degrees require between 120 and 132 credits of coursework, which can usually be accomplished in four years of full-time study.

How To Choose an Online Interior Design Program  

There are multiple websites that list the best online interior design programs, including free online interior design programs and online interior design programs for beginners. A good example is Online Courses Review, because it offers a separate list for a Recommended Course, Self-Guided Courses, Accredited Online Degrees and Free Interior Design Online Courses.

When choosing an online interior design school to begin your interior design career, you must decide what is important to you.  Factors include your career goals and the flexibility of the courses offered. Make sure you check the school’s accreditation status, which could have an effect on course credit, transferability and well as eligibility for financial aid. Some might require some in-person attendance, which might be a deal-breaker. 

How to choose Interior design for beginners courses

Once you decide to study online as part of your interior design career path and have chosen a school, you need to consider which program is right for you. Here are your options:

Associates Degree

This two-year program covers the history and fundamentals of interior design, including basic concepts such as lighting and space planning. This kind of program is great if you are looking for interior design courses for beginners.

Bachelor Degree

A four-year curriculum, it offers courses on basic art and human behavior in addition to classes in interior design. Course generally include sustainable design and computer-aided design (CAD). 

Master of Fine Arts

An MFA in interior design is often a hybrid program that requires some in-person course work. Some programs focus on preparation for a career in teaching. Courses usually include more “academic” issues such as theory and criticism as well as environmental psychology.

Especially in the post-pandemic world, learning to become an interior designer on line is not only possible, it may be the more safe and practical choice.

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