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Why isn't there a fast track program for all majors?

I am a photography major and I went to Loyola University for my first two years and decided to move home to finish an Associates degree. I moved home mainly because of my money situation. I hoped that by finishing my associates I would be able to find a job that I would like to turn into a career. Now I am going back to Loyola and hopefully graduating with a Bachelors in Studio Art, but I am still paying all this money. I just want to understand why I need general education classes to complete a major in something that doesn't require all those classes. I understand maybe a tier one class but tier two should be optional especially if it doesn't pertain to your major.
#photography #expensive #camera #art
#loyola #communitycollege #undergrad #fasttrack #college-advice

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Nancy’s Answer


That is a great question and to start your answer I would ask, “Why did you pick Loyola University of Chicago?” The reason probably has something to do with reputation of the school and the hope that employers might find you attractive as a job candidate after graduating.

That great reputation is earned in a few different ways. One is that you have chosen to pursue a degree at an accredited institution. That means that the standards for earning a Bachelor’s degree as judged by an independent evaluating body have been met my graduates. Why do universities care about offering accredited programs? They demonstrate adherence to a quality standard. Why do employers care about the reputation of where you went to school if you know how to take a photograph? They care because they know that graduates of accredited programs are a good bet for making successful employees.

You have made a choice to pursue a Bachelor’s degree which, from accredited programs, means that you will have learned more than having vocational skills. You will demonstrate ability to write, communicate, and to support your conclusions with evidence. You will have basic mathematical and perhaps scientific understanding and competence. This goes back to the definition of what being a Bachelor in a subject means.

You have a choice, and I think you made a good decision. However, you can take art and photography classes at non-accredited programs if you choose. Some online colleges offer nationally versus regionally accredited degrees. Sometimes these are not looked at as favorably as regionally accredited programs by employers. You can read about the accrediting body for Loyola University of Chicago by pasting the link below in your browser to learn more.

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David’s Answer

Well, there is a fast track if you want to flip burgers for a living! And, it's not unheard of to skip college and find a low level job in the field you're interested in and work your way up as you learn. Of course, your odds of success are very small. I happen to believe in education and its benefits and I believe education is a life-long journey. Yes, it's expensive and takes time, but I consider that an investment worth making. The more education you have the more valuable you are in our economy.

I agree to an extent. College is expensive and to pursue the things you want to in life, in my case photography, why am I taking so many general courses when that has nothing to do with what I am doing. I think that spending money on information that doesn't help me exceed in my career goals doesn't make any sense. That is why there should be an option. What if someone doesn't have the funds to complete their college career? Austin V.

Hey Austin. If you can not see the advantages to a formal education, but you want to pursue photography then I have a few thoughts for you. It's possible to achieve success as a photographer without a degree. First, you have to know how to use a camera and capture great images. You can accomplish that by reading and searching the web and shooting lots of images that you self-critique. Look at the work of successful photographers to see what images are considered outstanding. Choose an area of photography that interests you and design your portfolio to suit that market. Then start hustling for work. Photographers, generally, are hired because of their ability to produce images that satisfy their clients needs. That's what you need to aim for. It's doable. Good luck. David Wuerth

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Eric’s Answer

I cannot answer from an administrator position, however as both a student and faculty, the state requires students to have a certain amount of generalized education to qualify for the degree type. These generalized courses are sometimes expanded depending on the major. As someone taking art, you might find having 2 math classes makes no sense, however the state sees it otherwise. I can't say why, but maybe approach it this way: As an art major, as a photographer, what if you had to recreate an image and had to estimate or formulate the distance for a forensic analysis of a crime scene, for your recreation. You would have to extrapolate certain data based on measurements in order to effectively recreate the scene. Maybe that math class you think you didn't need, might just offer something you suddenly found you did.

Keep focused on the end goal, graduating with the best portfolio possible, and proper use of the english language never hurt either, so hold on to those english lessons too.

A well rounded education makes you a more enlightened person and that leads to more opportunities in your career. There are many photographers skilled in the techniques of photography, but a limited number able to relate to realizes of the world. You need to be able to make things happen in a declining industry that is highly competitive. Dennis Cox