Interior Decorating Schools: Online vs. In-Class - QC Design School

If you have an eye for design, you’ve likely looked into interior decorating schools. You are probably looking for the school that best represents your style and ambitions. And why wouldn’t you? Interior decorating schools have so much to teach! Now more than ever, you have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each school.

Interior decorating is one of the most creative subjects to study. We don’t doubt that you are looking forward to beginning your schooling, but we can’t make the decision for you! Keep reading for insight on the pros and cons of each type of school.

Online Pros

The Schedule

One of the reasons that online courses have become so popular is their ability to offer flexibility. This is increasingly important as students juggle work, hobbies, families and other responsibilities.

Taking a course online allows you to work on the material whenever suits you. Scheduling is not done by the school and you will have no set deadlines. It is ultimately up to you to decide when and where you will learn about interior decorating!

The Feedback

The feedback you receive from an online interior decorating course is very different from what you would receive in-class. Sometimes different can be better. When you submit assignments online, you will receive feedback promptly. Your tutor or instructor will send you a file or audio clip containing their comments.

Although group assignments can be fun in an in-class setting, you won’t typically receive individual feedback. If you are business oriented, you will want to know exactly how your work measures up. Based on your goals, this individual feedback can really help prepare you for a career in interior decorating.

No Travel Time

Online courses don’t require on campus learning. This means that you won’t ever have to deal with a lengthy commute to classes. Whether you walk, bus, bike or drive, this is a huge time saver. Besides saving yourself time, you will also reduce your costs. Who could complain about that?

Your Pace

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. In creative areas of study like interior decorating, some subjects will click, and others may be more difficult. This is completely normal!

Online schooling allows you to work at your own pace. Deadlines aren’t as strict because teachers don’t need to grade everything before the semester’s end. This is a great opportunity to balance your schedule according to what works for you.

Online schools allow you to spend more time on what you struggle with and work ahead if you excel in another area! Your study routine and pace are completely up to you. If you know what you are good at and what needs more work, you are also more likely to succeed and improve your decorating skills.

clocks on brick wall

Less Expensive

Tuition is a part of getting an education whether the school is online or not. Your schooling is an investment, but it can sometimes be hard to see it that way. Online schools have the benefit of being web-based. This means much less overhead costs for the school – and lower tuition for you!

We know you shouldn’t base your decision solely on tuition, but this is absolutely a perk! Often, it can be hard to invest in your education when you have other priorities. Luckily, lower tuition can help ease your transition.

girl budgeting

Online Cons

Tech Dependency

If you aren’t tech savvy, you probably have some reservations about online learning. It can be intimidating. This is why online schools usually provide students with printed course books in addition to online materials.

If you do make the decision to pursue online learning, fret not! Online schools have resources to help you in the event of tech troubles. If your laptop fails you, you can reach out to your student support center via phone, email or chat. This is all doable from your mobile phone.

Less interaction with fellow students

Some people really enjoy the social environment at brick and mortar schools. If you are a social butterfly, you may not be thrilled about not seeing your peers. We don’t blame you – fellow students are a great source if you have questions or need help! You will still meet new people through online learning, but it will be from behind your laptop

to do list

More Responsibility

Are you self-driven and motivated? If not, online learning may be a challenge for you. Some students find online schools too flexible. We know it sounds odd, but trust us, not everyone is as driven as you are!

The ball is in your court when it comes to online learning. No teacher will remind you to complete your tasks. If you are the type to work ahead or chip away at your work, this is great! If not, you may require more structure.

In-Class Pros

Networking Opportunities

Brick and mortar schools always place an emphasis on their employment rates. After all, when students are spending this much money, they want to know they will have a job afterward! This is why some teachers choose to include guest lecturers or field days. This gives students opportunities to meet professionals or other students in their industry. When looking for a job post-school, networking connections are a major advantage!


Incentives to Do Your Work

No one wants to be embarrassed in front of their classmates. This is exactly what can happen if you don’t hand in your assignments or study for exams in traditional schools. The potential to fail is always a reminder to stay on top of your work.

This acts as a motivator for students who don’t want to have to pay to take the course again or devote the time. If you are the type of person to procrastinate, this could be really helpful!

In-Class Cons

Course Length

Tradition schools run on the semester system. If you are enrolled in a program, your courses will either be 4 or 8 months long. This can take you a long time to earn your interior decorating certification. If you are willing to put in the work to finish early, this can feel limiting. Sometimes the pace just isn’t fast enough for your goals!

Consider making a five year plan and think about where you would like to be at the end of this period. Does it make sense to take the extra time to complete your schooling in-class? If not, an online school is most likely the better option for you.

desk with computer

Filler Content

Although many educators will beg to differ, not everything you learn is valuable. Sometimes, your teachers will need to be creative to come up with enough content or assignments to fill class time. The problem is that sometimes you’re busy, and you could use that time to benefit other areas of your life.

Carefully examine a course’s units of study. Think about what is really necessary and what is just filler content.


We know you probably don’t have time for filler content or lengthy courses. We also know that sometimes stress can get in the way of your goals! If you have other responsibilities but want to take a course, a rigid system probably isn’t great for you. Strict deadlines can be hard to meet if you have a lot going on.

No allowance for leeway can add a lot of stress to a busy life. Consider looking for a more flexible option if this sounds like your situation!

stressed girl

There are definitely pros and cons to both traditional and online schooling options. What is best for you really depends on your personality, work ethic and lifestyle. We hope this guide can help you make your decision. Try using our headings to make your own pros and cons list!

Think an online interior decorating course would suit your lifestyle? Check out QC’s decorating courses!

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