How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Riverdale 20737
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Riverdale MD, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Riverdale MD can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Riverdale MD interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Riverdale MD. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Maryland community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Riverdale MD homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Riverdale MD home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Riverdale MD employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Riverdale MD college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Riverdale MD business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Riverdale MD schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Riverdale MD schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Riverdale home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Riverdale 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 as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Riverdale MD?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Riverdale Maryland area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Riverdale Park, Maryland
Riverdale Park, formerly known and often referred to as Riverdale, Maryland is a semi-urban town in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, a suburb in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The population was 6,956 as of 2010.
Riverdale Park and the neighboring community of West Riverdale developed in the late 19th century as streetcar suburbs in central Prince George’s County. The town is located approximately seven miles northeast of downtown Washington, D.C., and is bounded to the north by East-West Highway. The area is also bisected by the heavily traveled Baltimore Avenue (U.S. Route 1). The city of College Park is located to the north, the town of University Park to the east across Baltimore Avenue, and Hyattsville is located to the south and southwest.
The area was first developed in 1801 when a Belgian aristocrat, Henri Joseph Stier, purchased 800 acres situated between two tributaries of the Anacostia River, known as the Paint and Northwest branches. Stier and his family moved to the United States several years earlier to escape the French Revolution (1788–1789). Upon purchase, he named his holdings Riversdale, and began constructing his residence that same year. The mansion was modeled after the Stier family’s Belgian home, Chateau du Mick, and when completed in 1807, the building stood as a two-story stuccoed-brick dwelling in the style of late Georgian architecture.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Riverdale MD
Picking the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Top Interior Design Colleges. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Riverdale MD.
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