a good complimentary degree ??

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Miree, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Miree

    Miree TPF Noob!

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    I am on my second year of getting an associates degree in photography. After learning about how hard it is to make it in this business, I am wondering if I should get a bachelors in something else. I want to get something that would help me to at least be involved in photography, because that is what I love doing. I'm just not sure what that second degree might be.

    Can any of you tell me what you went to school for, and how your degrees have worked off of each other?
     
  2. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    If you're talking about wanting to do photography full-time and NOT photo-journalism, get a business degree. If you're talking about doing photography full-time IN photo-journalism, get a journalism/communications degree.

    My degrees are Creative Writing, Comparative Religions, and Literary Studies with a minor in dance and a minor psychology (never finished either minor, though). Since graduating college I've worked in the IT field with photography as a hobby. For the last ten years or so I've been a project manager and just recently have started doing some IT management consulting.

    My point in telling you this is that, in spite of my advice in the first paragraph, you should study what interests you rather than what you think will get you a job. I studied what interested me and have had a very successful career in a completely unrelated field. College is about learning critical thinking and analytical skills as well as developing social skills and a sense of oneself on as an individual. As long as you learn HOW to think and communicate, you can be successful in any field.
     
  3. Miree

    Miree TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for you advice. You nailed it, I am pretty concerned about what will get me a job. I think I just feel pressured to just get on with having a career because I will be 26 this year. Which is young, I realize, but I feel like I should have more figured out than I do.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree.
    If you want to own/run a photography business, then business/marketing should be your focus....probably more than photography. It seems that the more successful photographers (especially in the wedding & portrait field) aren't necessarily the most talented photographers, but the ones who market themselves the best. And then the ones that become well known, find that they can make more money selling to photographers, rather than clients...which is why they write books, give seminars, sell gadgets etc.

    If you just love photography and want it as a great hobby....then become a doctor or a dentist etc. They seem to be the ones who have the money to be able to buy all the great gear and the time to be able to use it. ;)
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Totally Agree...

    Don't totally agree... You not only need to find some interest in your studies (keeps you motivated) BUT it has to be reasonable expectation of moving forward after graduation. Pugs, I am extremely happy for you but I think you are special minority. I know many examples of people who pursued a college degree right up their alley of interest only to be practically unmarketable and thousands in debt. Not a good way to start your future in the real world.

    In the U.S., the job market is bad enough that outgoing students who are very marketable aren't finding jobs.

    I'd like to think we are in a happy world of idealistic nature.. but that's just the way it is...

    I have an interest in computers... I have a friend who took some sort of fine arts degree. I found a part time to pay through college, remained debt free, and purchased a house 6 months after graduating. That was more than 10 years ago. Even after being laid off a handfull of times and unemployed for 2 years, I'm in much more financial stable state. Considering that housing is unreasonably high for income brackets (at least here in the North East), many are finding the idea of home ownership a distant possibility. In essence, I am more financially resilient and marketable.

    I know there are ways to study an interest then move on to an unrelated career. But there are also ways to study a more marketable interest and work in your other interests later on. IMO, it is a lot less painful. I found a 3 day 12 hour shift job (computer IT) once that allowed me to work as a paid photographer for a short bit. It paid crap but I had my full time 3 day job to fill in the gaps. A whole lot better than if it were the other way around.


    btw... My vote is for a business degree. Something I do regret not pursuing. In my case, it was a decision between CS with minor in EE or CS with a minor in Business. It would have been nice to have a non-technical degree which would have broaden my opportunities including photography related businesses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010

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