Is a Photography Deegree of Any Value?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 25, 2012
    #1
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  2. Charles E. Hardwidge

    Chemiker Guest

    Chemiker, Sep 26, 2012
    #2
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  3. Charles E. Hardwidge

    otter Guest

    Presumably you have to learn some things to get the degree. That
    should be worth something. Whether you can earn a living in
    photography, though, by virtue of having a photography degree is a
    different issue altogether. I'd say you might stand a better chance
    of getting hired into a professional situation, like as an intern for
    a magazine or advertising agency, etc. However, you will need to have
    a good portfolio, too.
     
    otter, Sep 27, 2012
    #3
  4. Hah. Yeah...
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 27, 2012
    #4
  5. That's a positive view.

    I'm finding it hard to get excited about courses like this and prospects are
    tough at the best of times. Hopefully prospects loosen up and there's enough
    value in the transferable skills for people to find alternative pathways if
    they need to.

    One of the reasons why the British were so effective during WWII and later
    during the post war boom is the country was stuffed with over-qualified
    layabouts. If you wanted to achieve a goal there was a pool of experts and
    enthusiasts on almost any inane thing you could think of. In contrast to
    politicians sometimes jaundiced view of the unemployed I've met many since
    the Thatcher-Reagan boom who idled their late night hours away in front of
    Open University programmes.

    Photography, like the rest of the economy, is tough now but we've been here
    before. Maybe courses like this will be seen to have value as things pick up
    and people share life experiences.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 27, 2012
    #5
  6. Charles E. Hardwidge

    J Guest

    Just saw you mention the open university Charles! :) I was one of those who
    'idled' in front of their programmes! There's a story here! I didn't have
    any prior qualifications and never got around to doing my highers, but I
    became hooked on the OU and began watching the late-night 'units' on
    tv....'religiously! I was out of work, so got the course books from the
    library...'and never took them back btw! I studied algebra, trig and
    calculus through these guys and their blackboards, and I had no idea just
    how high a level I might reach as I knew nothing of other qualifications.
    When the course was over (a year later), I thought I'd have a go at studying
    in a college environment, but when I turned up for my interview, the people
    who interviewed me were amazed at how much maths I had studied. I told them
    how I learned this and they looked at me like I had horns! Anyway, they sent
    me to Glasgow University with a letter from the rector of the college
    explaining about me. I was given a short written entrance exam and was
    allowed into the 3rd and final year of the BSc Maths degree! I was only at
    Uni for a year! :) The thing is, I can understand your question as to the
    value of a degree as I probably learned absolutely nothing in my year at
    Uni! By that I mean, I had already covered all the work for the 3rd year of
    the degree by myself. I have to say, that although I didn't learn anything
    new, it was the greates feeling in the world to actually have that lil piece
    of paper! I still feel proud to talk about it and the way I achieved it! I
    did not go into any further employment as a mathematician btw! Instead, I
    became a tv engineer! :) And you know, when I applied for the job as a
    trainee with the company, they told me they had given me the job as I had
    got a degree in mathematics! Mnay people seem to put you on a pedestal
    simply by virtue of the fat that you have a degree! Weird! I doubt very much
    that my maths degree helped make me a better tv engineer! Anyway, it shows
    how a person just through personal interest can learn something on his own
    with no thought for a qualification, but my story also shows that just
    having that qualification can open doors in places you where you never even
    thought there might be a door! :) Maybe you should do the degree? Why not?
    It certainly won't make you a worse photographer, and who knows....'you
    might even end up getting a nice job somewhere by virtue of your success at
    Uni, but hopefully not as a tv engineer!

    J
     
    J, Oct 1, 2012
    #6
  7. Brilliant story. You must have a natural aptitude for maths or got lucky, or
    both and everything turned out okay.

    I have computing and business qualifications, and involved in some project
    work that might give me leverage to new places. No idea if I'll return to
    college but photography may play a role in things somewhere.

    The upcoming generation are so clued in and full of energy. They also lack
    experience and it's telling sometimes. stories like yours can contain a lot
    of value. I think they can help bridge the gap and give people a hand up.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Oct 2, 2012
    #7
  8. Charles E. Hardwidge

    J Guest

    Couldn't agree more with your last line! My degree certainly gave me a hand
    up the ladder. Those letters after your name seem to mean so much to so
    many. I'm sure that many photographers will have found work based on the
    fact that they have some 'relevant' qualification though. I'm one of those
    who struggles with photography and I meet people now and then who are just
    naturals with a camera. God I hate them! Lol!

    J
     
    J, Oct 2, 2012
    #8
  9. Charles E. Hardwidge

    otter Guest

    Having credentials usually does open doors and help your career.
    Although there are plenty of people with degrees who are out of work,
    or end up working in another field. But I think the cost of an
    education is certainly worth it, especially if you can get the degree
    cheaply as you seem to have done it.

    One field where having a degree doesn't seem to matter so much is
    programming. If you can write code, you can get a job.
     
    otter, Oct 3, 2012
    #9
  10. Charles E. Hardwidge

    J Guest

    Having credentials usually does open doors and help your career.
    Although there are plenty of people with degrees who are out of work,
    or end up working in another field. But I think the cost of an
    education is certainly worth it, especially if you can get the degree
    cheaply as you seem to have done it.

    One field where having a degree doesn't seem to matter so much is
    programming. If you can write code, you can get a job.

    Totally agree! The strange thing is, I never met a uni graduate who was
    actually any good at writing great code, but I do know a few self-taught
    programmers who would blow them away. I think coding is one of those things
    you have to have a natural 'bent' towards, a bit like maths maybe, or
    music.....'photography? Hmm.

    J
     
    J, Oct 3, 2012
    #10
  11. Charles E. Hardwidge

    Noons Guest

    Isn't that what EVERY degree should be: "useful to some but otherwise
    not very"?
    Assuming we're talking about a higher education system based on
    specialization rather than one-certificate-fits-all...
     
    Noons, Oct 3, 2012
    #11
  12. Charles E. Hardwidge

    otter Guest

    My Dad used to say that a university degree is mainly proof to
    potential employers that you were at least able to accomplish that
    goal.
     
    otter, Oct 3, 2012
    #12
  13. Laszlo Lebrun, Oct 3, 2012
    #13
  14. Get a job? Yes. But that's also why there are endless bugs and security
    alerts for so much software, and why so many websites and forums get hacked
    because the people who make them don't know their subject in any depth.
    Writing correct programs is a professional skill which goes way beyond
    learning how to use a programming package. It's like, lots of DIY
    enthusiasts would be perfectly capable of building a bridge. But one that
    is guaranteed not to collapse unexpectedly? For that you'd be well advised
    to hire someone with a civil engineering degree.

    A good example would be password security. In recent years (and indeed
    months) many sites have been hacked and millions of usernames and passwords
    stolen. But in Comuputer Science this risk has been understood since the
    1970's and countermeasures have been available for just as long.
    Unfortunately the people writing web forum software, Facebook, Linked In,
    Hotmail, etc etc turn out not to have known the elementary principles of
    computer security that have been common knowledge amongst computer
    scientists for 30-40 years.
     
    Gordon Freeman, Oct 3, 2012
    #14
  15. I also have specialist knowledge of another domain and just completed
    reading a new research paper a few minutes ago. The findings state politely
    that (the degree qualified) authorities in this domain are badly behind the
    times and way out of tune with the market. This has been common knowledge
    among the general client base for 30-40 years...
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Oct 3, 2012
    #15
  16. Charles E. Hardwidge

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > On Sep 26, 5:25 am, "Charles E. Hardwidge" <>
    : > wrote:
    : >
    : > > My initial thought is a photography degree is as much use as a game
    : > > development degree. Useful to some but otherwise not very.
    : >
    : > Isn't that what EVERY degree should be: "useful to some but otherwise
    : > not very"?
    : > Assuming we're talking about a higher education system based on
    : > specialization rather than one-certificate-fits-all...
    :
    : My Dad used to say that a university degree is mainly proof to
    : potential employers that you were at least able to accomplish that
    : goal.

    You go to grade school to learn things.

    You go to high school to learn how to learn things.

    You go to college to learn how to tell what you've learned that's true from
    what you've learned that isn't.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Oct 7, 2012
    #16
  17. This sounds like the three pillars of wisdom: Confucianism, Buddhism, and
    Daoism.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Oct 7, 2012
    #17
  18. Note: Micosoft is quite a major offender in endless bugs and
    security problems --- and for a long time, they preferred
    hiding the problems instead of acting on them. I hear tell
    the latter has improved.
    Photography is also a professional skill which goes way beyond
    learning where the menu items are and what the shutter button is.

    One would assume that at least a huge, rich company that lives
    and dies by it's software --- like Microsoft --- would have the
    resources to hire only those who "have a degree" or at least have
    the "professional skill" of writing correct programs[0].
    Indeed: lots of DIY enthusiasts on a shoestring budget (or zero
    budget) are perfectly capable of building bridges. Quite a
    few of these bridges are head and shoulders above your average
    commercially built bridges, where cost cutting and hurrying to meet
    a due by date is always looming --- and where shoddy workmanship
    is much easier hidden behind the completely opaque facade.
    "If the bridge doesn't crash immediately after set up, with noone
    on it, sell it!"

    Sure, these bridge builders are very often well experienced
    in the art of bridge building and are *proud* of their work.
    And look over the work of others 'near' their chosen workplace
    on a given bridge and fix stuff that's suboptimal.


    Of course, there are lot of not so good bridges and tons of
    unfinished ones. Just as in commercial bridge building.
    Nope, for that you need to hire an insurance company.

    Practically all commercial bridges comes with an EULA that
    basically says "bought as seen" and "no guarantee on anything".

    Yep, it's trivial: Just don't allow any source to successfully pass
    dangerous or insecure data (code is executed/executable data) into
    the system and make sure that none such resides inside the system.

    Formerly, it used to be easy: pull the network cable and you were
    quite safe, provided noone could physically access your computer.
    Nowadays, there's WiFi. And Bluetooth. And WWAN. Pulling the
    power plug doesn't act as fast as one would think with today's
    laptops. Even embedding an axe in the mother board is probably
    no longer putting a computer into an ultimately safe state in
    all cases ...


    Computer Science (it's not a science and it has as much to
    do with computers as geometry has to do with using surveying
    instruments[1]) has long known that there is *no usable way* of
    proving that a non-trivial program is, in fact, not containing
    evil code (like a trojan or a virus). Source code reviews
    aren't enough. (The code could be inserted by the compiler, and
    the insertion code passed on to compilers built by the compiler.
    The code could be inserted by the microcode of the disk, or of
    the CPU.)

    The closest you can come is building a computer from scratch
    --- including all hardware needed to build parts that could
    carry evil code --- and building the whole software part ---
    starting at putting something like a minimal BIOS into the
    virgin hardware (which, like the rudimentary OS and compiler,
    you need to hand-compile(!) into machine code and transfer into
    the computer using only self-build code and tools and machinery).

    Having such a minimal known-good (except for all the bugs you're
    missing) machine, you can proceed at writing a more complete
    OS, a compiler that performs some optimisations and probably
    understands a commonly used language as per specifications, and
    then you "only" need to validate and scrunitize and completely
    understand every last byte of the source code you are importing.

    Oh, and you should try not to let any security critical bugs
    pass or produce them yourself --- in your design and in your
    implementation. But you *do* know all the countermeasures, so bug
    free is not a problem, right?

    Have at it! Have fun!
    Funny, I note that most, probably all, of the culprits are
    *professional* bridge builders working for a *commercial* bridge
    building company ...


    -Wolfgang

    [0] ``Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it
    correct, not tried it.'' Donald E. Knuth

    Non-trivial programs can't be proven bug free by testing
    --- you'd have to prove that you tested each possible
    code path with each possible environment of the set of
    environments that might make a difference.

    Nor is your compiler or interpreter bug-free.
    Nor the OS you're interfacing the hardware with.
    Nor the firmware in said hardware.

    [1]
    Observe who is saying this ...
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Oct 12, 2012
    #18
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