A common question that many new photographers ask is if they should get a photography degree or not. Shall they go for an online photography degree, or rely on real classes? While many beginners in the field of photography would like to learn to become professional photographers, those who are more experienced consider photography degrees a waste of time and money, and say that a real photographer should start directly by learning through practice. Additionally, the Internet is full of resources and classes to learn photography.
Although a photography degree can consume a lot of your time and money, learning based on an academic curriculum and obtaining recognition from an accredited academy can help you at the beginning of your career. While this does not replace your talent or portfolio, it can help you to get noticed when you apply for a photography job, especially at large agencies.
Online photography degrees overcome the concerns of wasting time and partly the costs as well by providing a method to learn from your home or work. You do not have to attend real classes or drive miles to the school or university. Also, it gives you maximum flexibility regarding the number of courses you would like to take each semester. Many universities and institutes try to solve the cost issue by providing an associate degree, or individual courses instead of a full program, which can help photographers to get a degree for a lower cost.
Following is a list of the best online photography degrees that you may be interested in checking:
New York Institute of Photography
New York Institue of Photography is one of the oldest photography institutes in the world that provide online photography degrees and it is based in New York. You can follow its digital photography and photo editing courses from your home with maximum flexibility. When you join the New York Institute of Photography, you will have the study materials sent to you via mail, and you can study and send the homework or assignments to the institute advisors who will give you directions. At the end of the course, you receive an accredited graduate certificate.
Additionally, it provides a photography degree at a very competitive and low price that you can pay as a one-time payment or in installments. If you need to learn, but are not interested in the type of the degree, this institute is the best choice for you.
Academy of Art University
Academy of Art University is one of the most reputable places to get full degrees in different art fields, such as graphic design and online photography degrees. It offers a full curriculum to get different types of degrees, such as Associate of Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts.
The Academy of Art University has an accredited degree and provides hands-on training courses that cover all the photography fields during the study period.
Although the Academy of Arts degrees are expensive and take time to complete compared to the New York Institute of Photography, the institute provides a full academic degree and you can transfer its credits or continue to apply for a master’s degree.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh provides Bachelor of Science degree in Photography that includes 55 courses that cover everything you need to learn about photography.
It is a little bit expensive, but it is still cheaper than the Academy of Art University. When I reviewed the syllabus I noticed that some courses on the list are really not needed, such as Color Theory for Web and Multimedia, the Fundamentals of the Interment, and the Electronic Design.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is one of the most respectable and acknowledged universities with a comprehensive online education program. It provides different art and design degrees including photography. It has a wide range of degrees in photography, such as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts. Each of these degrees provides a specific level of courses.
The Savannah College MFA in photography degree is the most expensive one compared to the other degrees. So, you may be interested in getting a Master of Arts instead, because it requires fewer credit hours and courses.
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, some opinions support getting photography degrees and some do not. So, it is totally up to you and your career requirements. You can check the above-mentioned degrees and compare them considering the different factors, such as the cost, the listed courses, and the study flexibility.