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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Should I Study at an Online Photography School?

In today’s day and age, the internet is the most rapidly expanding world for education. Classrooms in secondary and post secondary educational institutions are finding new ways to make use of this valuable resource in order to better aid students in their goals. However, there are some who question whether an online program can provide the same type of education that a traditional classroom can, especially when it comes to training in the arts. Photography is one such area where questions have been raised. Should you study at an online photography school? Well, that depends on you.

On one hand, an online education in photography can be a good thing. First, it’s tremendously convenient. If photography is a second career for you, it gives you the opportunity to finish your coursework at your pace, between the hours of your day job. If you’re a primary caregiver, an online program gives you the flexibility necessary to complete your degree when your children’s schedules will allow. Moreover, if you’re one of those students who works at a faster or slower pace than your peers usually do, you can set a schedule that meets your learning needs. On top of all of this, online programs tend to be a little cheaper than a traditional four year programs. The money you save can help pay for any materials you may need to complete your class.

On the other hand, online courses in photography can be uniquely challenging. Initially, you don’t have the benefit of interacting with peers and professors on a daily basis in the classroom. Because of this, you don’t get to hear the questions that your classmates may raise, and the answers the professors provide. This is often considered a critical component of the learning process. Plus, online programs, regardless of how challenging they may be, tend not to be as highly regarded as traditional arts programs. This could present a challenge when it comes to finding a job post-graduation. Finally, especially in an arts related degree like photography, the presentation of your work may be diluted by digital transmission. There are some things you just have to be there for.

So, should you pursue an online photography degree? The answer is not an easy one. An online program can provide a great deal of convenience, and save you money in the long run. However, online programs do not always provide the best learning atmosphere, and rarely are given as much credit as a traditional, classroom based program is. In conclusion, an online photography program is not necessarily a bad idea. Before you enroll, you need to consider all of the components, and make the decision that is best for you and your goals. 

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