Is a college photography degree worth it? It depends on who you ask. There are plenty of successful photographers out there who have never set foot inside a university photography lecture, while others have done just as well after earning that diploma. According to a recent study by Kiplinger, however, you might want to think twice before checking the “photography” box on your college app. After analyzing the salaries and jobless rates for grads of the 100 most popular majors, they found photography to be one of the 10 worst, and write,
Shutterbugs beware: The new-grad unemployment rate for film and photography majors is only narrowly better than the rate for high school dropouts. Film and photo students face tough competition in a crowded industry, and low starting salaries are the norm even in expensive industry hubs such as New York and Los Angeles. Interestingly, film and photography grads are still the best-paid of the art majors, though they make almost $10,000 less than the typical holder of a bachelor’s degree.
Some interesting figures: there’s a 7.3% unemployment rate for photo degree holders in general, and a 12.9% rate for recent graduates. The median salaries are $45,000 and $30,000, respectively.