Study Interior Design Course Online

If you've always wanted to study interior design or interior decoration, whether you want to become a professional, or you simply want to be a part of a high-flying career, and you have scheduling conflicts - a job or family commitments, long distance' study is a great option to consider.

Today, it is now a fact that you can become a professional in most fields of endeavour by being schooled and tutored in the comfort of your own home.

Isn’t it time to embrace this opportunity?

When you study interior design in a school, college, or university, online or off, you give yourself the opportunity to be a professional in the field, and a part of a high-flying career in the building and real estate industry.

Before You Decide to Study Interior Design

Before you make your decision, you'll first have to know which program you intend to pursue, a diploma in interior design, or a BA degree program that is a more advanced study.

You'll also want to know where to study online, requirements for enrollment, financial obligations, and the job opportunities in the interior design industry.

Having answers to these will help in your decision making.

Which Program Should You Pursue?

To be a professional in the field, formal training is essential. You don't really need formal training if you don't plan to go commercial with your skills. There are many that have a God-given talent of being creative and don't plan to go beyond doing decorating tasks for their own homes, their friend's, or their family's but if you want to go steps further and approach it as a business venture, you want to pursue this educationally.

Interior design, a highly competitive career, is a lucrative market in the building industry and services of interior designers are always required, especially by private and commercial clients, architects, the real estate industry, the movie industry, retailers of furniture and furnishings, property developers, and builders, just to mention a few. 
So, depending on how extensive your dreams are, you can opt to go for the diploma course or for a degree program.

Diploma Course – It’s always best to start at this stage where you are taught the fundamentals of interior design, like drawing, decorating, and simple perspectives. The topics covered in most online schools include:
  • Form and space
  • Colour and texture
  • Technical expertise
  • Environmental and global awareness
  • Expressions of creative sensibilities

HND Interior Design Course - If you already have a foundation course in interior design and decoration and wish to up your status to become more professional, you can enrol in an HND course. With this, you will also learn marketing and business skills required in the industry, and will know how to:
  • Design and know all the factors of space planning and interior layouts
  • Remodel, renovate and reconstruct interiors
  • Offer simple project management services related to interior design

BA Degree - This is a more advanced study where you’ll learn the elements and principles of design with its practical applications, including (but not limited to):
  • Problem-solving in space planning
  • Exploring creative designs
  • Business aspects of interior design
  • Use of CAD (computer aided designs) software
  • Relationship between people and spaces
You will also be taught on how interiors if designed properly and inventively, can influence human interaction, emotional responses, and improve the quality of human lives.

All class projects including attendance will be done by telephone, email, the internet, online forums, and courier services.

When you pursue a degree program, you will have the opportunity to work in an equally lucrative niche in interior design - rendering and perspectives, the good old-fashioned way, before the advent of CAD technology.

Where Can You Study Interior Design Online

A decade ago I’ll probably tell you there were just a handful of colleges offering interior design as an online course, however, things are now different and you will find more schools and colleges offering interior design course, with a majority of them in the USA, Britain, Canada, some parts of Europe, and South Africa.

Some of the top schools and colleges that offer an interior design online course include:

Requirements for Enrollment

You are probably aspiring to become a professional interior designer if you are reading this. But there are many who may not be reading this article because they believe that to become an interior designer, you must be creative and have the ability to draw. This is true to some extent, but I'd like you to know that some have become professionals in the field, just by getting an education to become one.

Truth be told though, there is no doubt that being creative is an added plus.

If you aspire to go for the associates or diploma course, you don’t require much more than your academic marks and your creative abilities which must be demonstrated through a portfolio submission of your artistic and creative works.

However, to obtain a degree, you'll need to fulfil the following conditions (the general requirements stated under Colleges of Arts and Sciences):
  • 75 hours of art courses.
  • Foundation in fine arts courses
  • Required courses in art history
  • Credit hours selected from ceramics, advanced drawing, advanced design, printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture or visual communications.
  • Required fine arts courses in the interior design concentration.

And if you are a transfer student, to study interior design, you must take a minimum of 12 credit hours of 100-level fine arts courses at a university, with 9 hours of it being in their area of specialization.

Financial Obligations

You might consider applying for financial aid to study interior design online but it can be a bit complicated in that you need to start the process of applying at least three months before you plan to enrol for the course. If you can, apply for a scholarship or grant. They are the best options because you don't have to repay.

Outside or private funding is another option worth considering. If you start your research early enough, you’ll discover some charities, benevolent individuals, charitable businesses, and community organizations that offer scholarships to study.

And of course, there is self-financed. If you are blessed enough to have funds at your disposal, that means you are good to go ahead to pursue your dreams conveniently. 

Job Opportunities

Formal training is required if you want to get a headway in this competitive job market, however, in a number of cases, an associate's degree in interior design is sufficient to get your foot through the door of the industry.

As a professional designer, you can either opt to work for an establishment, a small firm, or privately for yourself. It all depends on your aspirations. Job opportunities include working for:
  • Interior design firms
  • Architectural firms
  • Hospitality design firms
  • Design departments of corporations and institutions
  • Carpet manufacturing industries
  • Commercial furniture dealerships and retailers
  • Real estate firms
  • Contract design firms
  • Home design magazine publications
  • Kitchen and bathroom manufacturers
  • Product, accessory, and furniture retailers
  • Stage set design firms
The great thing about interior design is that there are many ‘branches and twigs’ (niches) that sprout out from a huge ‘tree trunk'. Additionally, here are some entry-level jobs you will also qualify for:
  • Interior Designer Assistant
  • Junior Designer
  • Business Development Coordinator
  • Interior Decorator
  • Colour Consultant

Studying Interior Design Online Requires Discipline

Like any other distance learning education, with interior design, you will have to be committed and disciplined as there is no tutor 'breathing down your neck' during class. You work at your own pace. Learning can be slowed down or accelerated to suit your needs thus offering flexibility that'll fit into your busy lifestyle.

So, though it takes discipline and motivation to stick with an online course, you will still find it exciting, beneficial, and satisfying.

Further Reading:
Interior Decoration by Distance Learning
7 Ways Interior Designers Charge for Services
Interior Design Masters Program