Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Photography – Is it Worth It?

Do you need a degree of any kind to become a photographer? No, not necessarily but for those who are serious about photography as a career, or might want to teach in the future it certainly gives them an extra edge.

A master’s degree in photography is often a great choice for those who have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in a different discipline but wish to continue their education on a different track – perhaps capitalizing on a hobby – after all ever professional photographer has to begin as an amateur.

What Course Work does a Masters Degree in Photography Cover?

Earn a master’s degree just by taking photographs all day? Sounds like a doodle, but there is actually far more to earning a master’s degree in photography than just snapping a pretty picture.

A master’s degree in photography teaches students advanced camera techniques as well as allowing them to specialize in fields like photojournalism or fashion photography. It also covers the business side of being a professional photographer, very important for those who intend to pursue a freelance photography career (which, if a student is good will often reap the biggest financial rewards.)

Where can you take a Masters Degree in Photography?

There are schools both on and offline that offer masters in photography degree programs. Many of the larger art schools offer a variety of different programs and there are some accredited learning establishments that are devoted solely to the art of photography. See also this post on an MBA in Global Management.

How to Choose a Masters in  Photography Degree Program

There are a number of special factors that a student wishing to pursue a master’s degree in Photography should keep in mind while evaluating schools and programs offering such courses. These include:

The Focus of the Course – A particular program’s focus on, for instance,  digital imaging or traditional photography or an area such as studio photography, photojournalism or advertising should support a person’s career goals. If you have a clear idea of the kind of photographer you wish to become consider looking for a master’s in photography degree program that allows you to specialize in a certain discipline.

Business Education – Does the program offer classes that cover the business side of a photography career? Does the school offer internships or post-graduation job placement assistance? Getting started as a professional photographer is not easy and these kinds of services can prove to be invaluable.

Photography Equipment – Great cameras and all the accessories that go along with them are not cheap. The advantage of pursuing an on-campus master’s degree in photography is that a good school will provide the student access to much of the high-end equipment they need without their initially having to pay for it themselves (although eventually, they will have to anyway)

A student pursuing a master’s degree in photography at home and online will usually have to fund their own equipment right away. Some online schools do build the cost of the certain equipment into the price of the course but make sure you understand what will and won’t be provided by the school before you make a final decision and sign up. Check also this post about the MBA degree for Daycare Executives.