continue studying?

Hi everyone,

Happy New year core77.

I need some advice about potentially changing design disciplines. I am currently in my last year of Industrial Design (honours) which is a 4 year program. I deferred for a year because I wasn’t sure if industrial design was what I wanted to do. However, I have gone back to stick it out in order to get a qualification.

It has only been the last 3 months that i have discovered my true passion/talent, which is interior decorating.

My question is, is it worth getting a certificate III or diploma in interior decorating when I am graduating in the next year with a bachelor of design?

Would I be gaining any more skill if I completed a second qualification in this field? or would i have enough skills without a diploma to be employed as a decorator?


I know many people who studied industrial design and ended up doing other things in their careers. The same goes for people who didn’t study design, but ended up working in design. The design education you are getting in ID will translate to other design fields, you might just need to fill in the gaps. A certificate might help, but I would suggest looking for an internship. There’s nothing like experiencing the real deal. The internship will also help you to understand the profession (interior design) so that you can figure out what skills you need to work on. Nobody graduates with all the skills that a job requires, the majority of the learning happens with experience.

If you want to be an INTERIOR DECORATOR, I’d say your ID degree would more than qualify you to find a job at any department store, furniture, bath, or discount building supply company.

On the other hand, if you want to pursue INTERIOR DESIGN, you would benefit from more specific training; in fact you wouldn’t get very far without it.

I’ll leave it up to you to determine the difference between the two fields.

Ha, yeah, it probably ‘qualifies’ you to work at starbucks or from the sound of it, a chippy…

I’ll probably get some crap for this comment, but I would take into consideration your gender and sexual orientation. I have yet to meet a straight male interior designer (or an ugly female for that matter). Not that it should be at the top of your criteria, but something you should know ahead. In the end it’s about what you want to do. :wink:

P.S. Why won’t core let me spell S-E-X-U-A-L? We are all adults here, or at least pretend to be. :laughing:

Thanks for the advice everyone.

@Lmo, I have many friends that are studying either interior design or interior decorating so I have a fairly good idea of what the difference is.

and @scrotum, thankyou? i guess ill really have to do some soul searching or gender/sexual origination tests before i consider a career in interior decorating :slight_smile:.

I suspect that it must have been some technical aspect of “industrial design” that you originally found intriguing. If that is the case I think you would grow tired of picking carpets’n’drapes pretty quick.

Interior design would offer you far more opportunity to solve problems, create functional space and environments, and on more levels of interest (residential, institutional, commercial, industrial, transportation (automotive, marine, aviation)). With your grounding in industrial design I imagine you could complete any additional Interior Design course work in short order.

Salary-wise, at the beginning of your career (0-2 years), the two are close. But with experience (5-8+ years) Interior Design has more to offer. On a purely “fun” scale … I’d want to do projects more diverse than simply “decorating”, and that’s worth a lot.

I, personally have never given two craps about anybody orientation unless I was trying to sleep with them. Not to flame you but that is a little immature.

I know a women who has an ID degree that does interior design now, she loves it and uses here technical knowledge/ process all the time. The background with materials helps but also the ability to design her own furniture pieces and have them built helps a lot. Sketching / rendering are very efficient ways to show someone else exactly what you are thinking. If I where in your shoes, I’d finish my ID degree, then look or network for a internship working with a Interior design place. I know in the US stores like Luminare offer that service so I’d bet that in the UK they have that too (I am guessing that you are in the UK). Maybe start making you own furniture, also check out the core posts on Hellman - Chang good stuff

No offense taken Simon, like I said I expected that. I was just mentioning the intangibles that go with the field, but then I should’ve noticed the o.p. is studying industrial design and probably knows what to expect in interior design.