As in most trades and fields of employment experience can be just as valuable or even far more valuable. I remember before I opened my first business and a very wise person told me you never open a business unless you already know everything there is to know about that industry.
I recently looked into a photography refresher course at NSCC $10,000 for the first year and $6,000 for the second year and that didn't include equipment. Basic equipment could run a person at least twice that amount. Ouch, could you imagine spending that kind of money and not have any experience?
I took the power products program at NSCC (Motorcycle Mechanics) and was very disappointed in what I learned or more specifically what I didn't learn! I couldn't get established afterwards because I had no previous experience before I went to school.
At least when I went to SAIT in Calgary they had great teachers. To this day I can still contact them and they will help me solve a problem, give advice or their thoughts about something. That will never happen at most colleges as a matter of fact my NSCC teacher said if I ever had a problem I could pay for his advice!
My advice is that you should never go to college and take anything you have never previously worked at that is how come so many people have training in one area and work in a totally different field. Most people who are fresh from school truly do start at the bottom because school doesn't teach you everything you need to succeed in the working world.
In fact, many corporations will promote within and you can be much further a head finding the job you are interested in and learning all you can or contacting a company and asking about becoming an intern as they pay you less to start and they can teach you (EVERYTHING) they can also train you to do things as they would expect them to be done while not having someone question their every move... But I was taught this way or my teacher always said...
Photography is always evolving it is a tech industry and you need many talents to succeed but there is nothing that can't be taught! Go slow and learn everything you need to know. A good photographer can teach you almost everything you would have learned in school and all the things you would have had to struggle with for the next 10 years figuring how to become out really good without 100% of the information to do the job right.
Not every professional photographer has talent and no they are not all good. Take it from me, no matter how many classes you take you will not be ready to make good money as a photographer right out of school. You will know the basics and just enough to not get sued if you are lucky! I went to college for photography and trust me it taught me the very basics, but I will admit a few of my teachers were great photographers and good friends.
If you are interested in a part time internship please contact me. You will work as a model, an assistant, a amateur photographer, a videographer and you will learn the editing and business side of things as time passes but you will start at or near the bottom and learn everything. One day you might even manage my business, be my partner in business or take over the business when I retire.
Drop us a line today and find out more!