How to Choose the Right Interior Design College Rockville 20847
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Rockville MD, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Rockville MD may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Rockville MD interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Rockville MD. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Maryland trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Rockville MD homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Rockville MD home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rockville MD employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Rockville MD college you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Rockville MD business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Rockville MD colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Rockville MD colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Rockville home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rockville MD, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Rockville MD?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Rockville Maryland area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Rockville is a city and the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The 2010 census tabulated Rockville's population at 61,209, making it one of the largest communities in Maryland and the third largest location in Montgomery County, after Silver Spring and Germantown.
Rockville, along with neighboring Gaithersburg and Bethesda, is at the core of the Interstate 270 Technology Corridor which is home to numerous software and biotechnology companies as well as several federal government institutions. The city also has several upscale regional shopping centers and is one of the major retail hubs in Montgomery County.
Situated in the Piedmont region and crossed by three creeks (Rock Creek, Cabin John Creek, and Watts Branch), Rockville provided an excellent refuge for semi-nomadic Native Americans as early as 8000 BC. By the first millennium BC, a few of these groups had settled down into year-round agricultural communities that exploited the native flora, including sunflowers and marsh elder. By AD 1200, these early groups (dubbed Montgomery Indians by later archaeologists) were increasingly drawn into conflict with the Senecas and Susquehannocks who had migrated south from Pennsylvania and New York. Within the present-day boundaries of the city, six prehistoric sites have been uncovered and documented, along with numerous artifacts several thousand years old. By the year 1700, under pressure from European colonists, the majority of these original inhabitants had been driven away.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Rockville MD
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Bachelor Of Interior Design. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rockville MD.
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