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Study Interior Design Silver Spring MD

How to Pick the Right Interior Design College Silver Spring 20901

interior designed Silver Spring MD family roomNow that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Silver Spring MD, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

commercial interior designed Silver Spring MD conference roomSome people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of 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 functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Silver Spring MD may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as 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 incorporating Feng shui principles, Silver Spring MD interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.

Interior Design Degree Programs

interior designed kitchen in Silver Spring MDThere are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Silver Spring MD. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Maryland vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve 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 college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

woman attending interior design school online in Silver Spring MDFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Silver Spring MD homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Schools

Questions to ask Silver Spring MD interior design coursesNow that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Silver Spring MD residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Silver Spring MD employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Silver Spring MD program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need 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 held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Silver Spring MD business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Silver Spring MD schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Silver Spring MD programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Silver Spring home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Silver Spring 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 option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Silver Spring MD?

Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Silver Spring Maryland area.  If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.

Silver Spring, Maryland

Silver Spring is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located inside the Capital Beltway in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 76,716 according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown, and the second largest in Montgomery County after Germantown.[2] Inner Silver Spring consists of the following neighborhoods: Downtown Silver Spring, East Silver Spring, Woodside, North Woodside, Woodside Park, North Hills Sligo Park, Long Branch, Montgomery Knolls, Franklin Knolls, Indian Spring Terrace, Indian Spring Village, Clifton Park Village, New Hampshire Estates, Oakview, and Woodmoor. Outer Silver Spring consist of the following neighborhoods: Four Corners, Wheaton, Glenmont, Forest Glen, Aspen Hill, Hillandale, White Oak, Colesville, Colesville Park, Cloverly, Calverton, Briggs Chaney, Greencastle, Northwood Park, Sunset Terrace, Fairland, Lyttonsville, and Kemp Mill.

The urbanized, oldest, and southernmost part of Silver Spring is a major business hub that lies at the north apex of Washington, D.C. As of 2004, the Central Business District (CBD) held 7,254,729 square feet (673,986 m2) of office space, 5216 dwelling units and 17.6 acres (71,000 m2) of parkland. The population density of this CBD area of Silver Spring was 15,600 per square mile all within 360 acres (1.5 km2) and approximately 2.5 square miles (6 km2) in the CBD/downtown area.[3] The community has recently undergone a significant renaissance, with the addition of major retail, residential, and office developments.

Silver Spring takes its name from a mica-flecked spring discovered there in 1840 by Francis Preston Blair, who subsequently bought much of the surrounding land. Acorn Park, tucked away in an area of south Silver Spring away from the main downtown area, is believed to be the site of the original spring.[4][5]

Pick the Best Interior Design School near Silver Spring MD

Silver Spring MD interior designed bathroomSelecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Study Interior Design. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Silver Spring MD.

More Designer Locations in Maryland

  • Study Interior Design At University Nanticoke MD
  • Universities That Offer Interior Design Forest Hill MD
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  • Interior Design Education Cascade MD
  • Interior Design Masters Programs Rock Point MD
  • Colleges That Have Interior Design Edgewater MD
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