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Do i need a degree to do what i love?


I think I might try and pick up as business studies next year and see if I enjoy it before thinking about doing a business degree. If I don't I think I give the degree a pass unless something like marine photography takes my fancy. Any areas of interest that might be a good area if photography to go into?

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collywobles 11 3.5k 9 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 8:40AM
Agreeing with most people here that you do not need a degree but I will say that choosing the right one, say Business Studies, Economics and others (but not one of these so called soft degrees - employers have seen through them now and they are almost worthless) would expand your knowledge base and give you an insight into the world of business which will help you in whatever career choice you make. Also there are, more and more people out there who are achieving a degree an unless you are in there with them you will be at the back of the queue when it comes to getting a job. Further, there is an experience in going to University and enjoying the time with fellow students and learning another side of life. The company I worked with only employed people with degrees and a 2:1 at that as minimum and I can say on balance they were great people with great careers ahead of them.

In answer to your question, no you do not need a degree but it would help and benefit you in the long term.
puertouk 3 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 9:03AM
The way some people talk about getting a degree, is you only have to turn up for X amount of years and they give you a degree. Trust me, you have to work extremely hard to get a degree, unless you are someone who is extremely gifted and learning comes easy to you. Otherwise, what if you don't get your degree? You have spent all that time and money trying to get a degree and you fail. People do not seem to come up with failure, but trust me, it happens quite a lot. So, you have to be confident in yourself, that you have the ability and can come away with a degree. Do you need a degree to become a pro? It certainly helps, but is not a prerequisite. Yes, it does help to be good in sales, as you will become a salesperson. You have to sell yourself for starters. Then you have to sell your work, showing prospective clients your portfolio. Clients will have several photographers on their books who they have dealt with over the years and who are tried and tested. You have to convince these people you are special and can offer them something different and also better, which will take some doing. Work, even for the established pro's is becoming more difficult to get work, as things are tough.

With a photography degree, you will stand a better chance of maybe being introduced to a pro, who might well take you on if he thinks you are good enough and have the potential for you to improve his own business.
Carabosse Plus
12 39.7k 269 England
15 Apr 2013 1:51PM

Quote:Trust me, you have to work extremely hard to get a degree


That may have been the case years ago, but some "degree" courses - these days - are little more than the equivalent of O-levels of yesteryear.

And that's not just my view. I have friends who are teachers and university lecturers who share it.
779HOB 3 1.1k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 2:35PM
Those who say a photography degree it doesn't matter are kidding themselves. A degree will give you the opportunity to explore photography. Someone like Hugga Dunn, graduate of UWE and now working as a freelance fashion photographer http://huggadunn.co.uk I wonder if she would be using medium format film if she hadn't gone to Uni.


Quote:In answer to your question, no you do not need a degree but it would help and benefit you in the long term.



Quote:With a photography degree, you will stand a better chance of maybe being introduced to a pro, who might well take you on if he thinks you are good enough and have the potential for you to improve his own business.


Agree.


Quote:That may have been the case years ago, but some "degree" courses - these days - are little more than the equivalent of O-levels of yesteryear. . And that's not just my view. I have friends who are teachers and university lecturers who share it.


I work in education for a college providing both FE and HE and I doubt anyone here would agree with that statement nor would anyone studying for a degree - it's bloody hard work to get the results now and requires a lot of self motivation and determination on the part of the student.

I don't have a degree but given my time again I would jump at the chance to study photography a degree level.
Carabosse Plus
12 39.7k 269 England
15 Apr 2013 2:52PM
It would be interesting to know how many of the pros on here have a degree in photography and, if they have, whether they have found it beneficial in terms of getting work. Smile
monstersnowman 9 1.7k 1 England
15 Apr 2013 3:02PM

Quote:
I work in education for a college providing both FE and HE and I doubt anyone here would agree with that statement nor would anyone studying for a degree - it's bloody hard work to get the results now and requires a lot of self motivation and determination on the part of the student.



I found the quality of work required for my particular degree was terribly low and whilst there were people on my course who really were clueless, and pretty much remained so to the bitter end they all passed and got a degree ... So I personally was not impressed by the standard required for the degree or the level of knowledge or skill required. I did very little work which was mainly crammed in to the last few days before submission and I got a 1st. I was surprised to say the least. I left at the end of year 2 very disillusioned, feeling what I was studying was of little value to me specifically. To some it may have been of more value.
779HOB 3 1.1k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 3:10PM

Quote:It would be interesting to know how many of the pros on here have a degree in photography and, if they have, whether they have found it beneficial in terms of getting work.


My daughter is finishing her A levels next year and wants to work in photography. She's not sure which area yet. I was talking to her this weekend about whether to go to uni or not. I think it depends a lot on what you want at the end. If you want to shoot weddings or press you don't need to go to uni, or anything other than a camera and some confidence. My daughter, 17, is shooting a wedding in June, so I guess she could leave school next year and set up shooting weddings and work her life away doing that.

To do fashion I think maybe there's an argument that uni would benefit you for the point of view of being able to learn to use lighting and stage setting and using different equipment you wouldn't get the chance to use if you just tried to start working in the field. Uni gives you far more than the knowledge to make basic camera settings. As I said before it allows you to experiment with the medium and find what you really like and want to do. We talked about apprenticeships and the benefits of those over uni - there are benefits for sure. If she could get an apprenticeship in fashion photography I'd say jump at it. But as you know most photographers are in fact freelance now so photography apprenticeship are few and far between.
779HOB 3 1.1k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 3:11PM

Quote:I found the quality of work required for my particular degree was terribly low and whilst there were people on my course who really were clueless, and pretty much remained so to the bitter end they all passed and got a degree ... So I personally was not impressed by the standard required for the degree or the level of knowledge or skill required.


Would be interested in where you studied. Sounds like a very poor course.
monstersnowman 9 1.7k 1 England
15 Apr 2013 3:24PM
I haven't said where because I still know the people involved and its a very small world .. They might read it anyway here tho :0/
KenTaylor Plus
10 3.0k 2 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 3:25PM
If you asked that question to Lord Sugar his answer would be blunt.
779HOB 3 1.1k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 3:43PM

Quote:If you asked that question to Lord Sugar his answer would be blunt.


Indeed it would be - maybe along the lines of - Don't work for a degree let them give you a couple of doctorates! He holds two honorary Doctorates of Science degrees, awarded by City University and Brunel University
keithh Plus
11 23.9k 33 Wallis And Futuna
15 Apr 2013 4:50PM
Wedding, Portrait photographer = no degree

Forensic, Medical Photographer = Degree.

Horses for courses.

However, a degree is unlikely to help you get a job with another photographer for two reasons. 1 - They could care less and 2. There are very few actually employing anybody.
collywobles 11 3.5k 9 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2013 5:44PM

Quote:It would be interesting to know how many of the pros on here have a degree in photography and, if they have, whether they have found it beneficial in terms of getting work. Smile


That might have been OK in the past, but a degree for a secure future is a major asset. If you haven't got a degree on the application form nowadays for any worthwhile job it gets binned immediately, not that that is right but more the way of life now.
Carabosse Plus
12 39.7k 269 England
15 Apr 2013 6:11PM

Quote:If you haven't got a degree on the application form nowadays for any worthwhile job it gets binned immediate


I wonder how many employed photographers we have on EPZ. Zero would be my guess! Wink

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