Is a photography degree worth it?
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in digital photography can set you apart from other photographers who haven't studied the field in an academic context. Having a good eye and a natural instinct for composition is helpful, but taking classes with experienced professionals and honing those skills can make you a better photographer and a more attractive job candidate.
Earning a degree in photography can make a big difference in your career plans; you'll gain tips and strategies from teachers who have years of experience as working photographers.
And you may be passionate about photography, but the idea of photo shoots every day might not be how you envision your future career. With a degree in photography, your job prospects become more diverse as you determine how to start a photography career in your area of concentration. You might end up working at a gallery or an arts foundation, or you could pursue a career in photojournalism or advertising.
If you ultimately choose to become something other than a traditional photographer, you might still be interested in and eligible for roles that would allow you to use your photography background and skills.
Careers in photography
These careers require a photographer's sensibility, skills and experience.
Becoming an animator requires a keen eye for detail. In this case, you'll also need the ability to draw or to use computer drawing or animation software.
In 2021, the median salary for the group that includes animators and special effects artists was $78,790, according to BLS.
- Art director
Whether you're working on an ad campaign or a museum exhibition, you'll need to have a vision for the bigger picture as you help your organization develop and display various pieces of art. A degree in photography can help you with the analytical skills you'll need as an art director.
In 2021, the median art director salary was $100,890, according to BLS.
- Art professor
If you love teaching others about the wonders of art as much as you love going on photo shoots yourself, consider a career as a professor of art or photography.
In 2021, the median professor salary was $79,640, according to BLS.
- Fine artist
Your strong visual sense could easily lead you to a career in the fine arts as a photographer, illustrator, painter or sculptor, depending on your instincts and technical skills. Experiment with any medium that attracts you to discover your strengths — you never know what you'll end up loving most.
In 2021, the median fine artist salary was $49,960, according to BLS.
- Industrial designer
If you have opinions and ideas about product design, then a career in industrial design might be for you. Industrial design roles put you squarely in the business world, where you can apply your artistic instincts in service of the needs of your company. You'll more than likely be working as part of a team, collaborating with the marketing department, engineers and other designers.
In 2021, the median industrial designer salary was $77,030, according to BLS.
Earn your photography degree online with Arizona State University
These are just some of the possibilities for someone experienced in digital photography and a strong sense of aesthetics. ASU Online’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in art with a concentration in digital photography degree program can help you develop the skills you'll need to pursue the many career paths available to you as an aspiring photographer.