The world of an interior designer is filled with opportunities for creativity, handling of multiple projects at any one time, and meeting and working with different types of people. However, a common misconception about interior design is that it is a glamorous profession where all you need to do is match colors and fabric. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Interior designers are expected to know not only color and fabric but also elements of architecture, engineering, building and contract language. A knowledge of electrical facilities and placements is also important as a professional designer will need to plan the layout of the room even before the room has been physically constructed. Courses in salesmanship and marketing are also important as you will need to sell your work to prospective clients. As such, interior design is a very specialized field which requires specific qualifications and not just an 'eye' or 'flair' for color or knowledge of fabric.
The first and probably the more obvious requirement to become an interior designer is an accepted degree. Here, it is important that the interior design student applicants look for colleges or institutions that are accredited to the governing body. This way, they get the best out of their courses and also obtain credible qualifications which look impressive enough for them to have a head start in job hunting.
As interior design is not just about color and fabric, an awareness or qualifications in architectural drawing, mechanical engineering and like-minded areas cannot be stressed enough. It is important that training on 'industry standard' interior design software is taken up as a part of the degree wherever possible. A working knowledge of design software used in the industry is a very valuable skill and can guarantee you a better graduate salary.
Gaining experience through internships is a good way of adding professional knowledge to your resume. Also look out for opportunities to design for friends and neighbors who can later provide positive references to add to your resume. Another effective way of increasing your chances of successfully finding employment after graduating is by building a portfolio.
And finally, whilst studying for your degree and also when you become an interior designer, always continue to learn and keep aware of the latest trends by participating in trade shows, looking through websites and interior design magazines.