For the arts, that is... I have been debating lately whether or not I should think about pursuing going back to school for photography... and I think I finally got my answer during (in the most annoying 3 hour conversation in the world).
Example 1: I go to college for Music Recording Technology. I am currently working as a receptionist. Keith's best friend is a high school drop-out. He is currently a working engineer in Nashville.
Now there are a large number of factors that go into *both* of those situations... but the point is, Keith's friend didn't need to go to college to be a successful engineer. He bought equipment... researched... taught himself... experimented... and moved.
I went to college for recording because while I knew it was what I wanted to do, I had NO clue where to start or how to do it. What better way to learn, right?
Well now my interests have shifted (call it a quarter life crisis... I do.) and the more I think about this and do this and really allow myself to be honest with... myself... I realize that photography might actually be what I want to do now. I've been into music my whole life... it's all I've ever done... and while I still *love* music and greatly appreciate everything about (good) music, I think I've become jaded... so I pursued something that I have always wanted to do and I'm finally allowing to realize that my personal "Rockstar Pipe Dream" (everyone has one...) might be to become a photographer. Maybe. (<---I have to take a little pressure off of myself...)
I've set a goal... and I'm going to say it now, and I'm going to say it once (publicly), and that is: I want photography to be *some* source of my income by the time I'm 34.
34. 10 years from now... 10 years to learn and improve and learn some more.
Which brings me back to why I think college is bullshit. I spoke with an art college on the phone today for 3 frickin hours (don't ask), and there were two things that I learned (well... one I already knew).
1. Colleges are nothing more than a business selling you their product. (If you don't think that's even the least bit true, you're delusional)
2. I don't need that school to be successful.
What made me think that? A lot of things... but *especially* the fact that the recruiter kept stressing the fact that if I couldn't do the Bachelors in Photography right now, that I could always do their Digital Design Diploma program... A glorified Photoshop Certification. What's wrong with that? The fact that she kept alluding to the fact that "today photography has gone digital and you'll want to get the basics down".
I agree... must get the basics of photography down... but that diploma program has NO classes on lighting, composition, color, PHOTOGRAPHY..... just... photoshop... and various other elements that I am less than interested in learning considering I don't want to be a graphic designer.
The Photography BS program does... but it is also ridiculously expensive (and we're poor) and requires a lot of time I may or may not have at the moment. Yeah, yeah, there's government aid... I know all about that... but I HIGHLY doubt my husband is going to want to add MORE to the thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of debt that I'm in (thousands of that not even being school related), that ALREADY makes him want to shit his pants every time he looks at the total...
And why waste my time with an expensive flashy *ONLINE* college, when photography is just like music... I've been comparing photography and music to each other since the day I picked up my camera... you wouldn't *believe* the similarities!
But if Keith's friend didn't need school to be an engineer... why do I need school to be a photographer? Besides... I have the best online schooling already. I have hundreds of online teachers that live in various forums I frequent... a wonderful, mysterious, overseas mentor... access to libraries and bookstores accompanied by the ability to read... Combine those with the patient, loving, and somewhat confused support from my husband, and the bond between my camera and I as it teaches me the things I need to know as I continuously shoot and *pray* for the best... I think I've got myself a pretty damn good online school right there. And the best thing?
Tuition is free... minus the materials needed for learning. ;)