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Bachelor's Degree in Film

Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:03am

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BringPopcorn

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What can you do with a bachelor's degree in film besides teach?
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:11am

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ben3308

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Rating: +2/-2

Be a likely candidate for participant on "The Bachelor: Filmmaking Edition"?
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:38am

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BringPopcorn

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ben3308 wrote:

Be a likely candidate for participant on "The Bachelor: Filmmaking Edition"?
I was looking for a more serious answer.
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:40am

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Bryan M Block

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uh- most colleges require a master's degree or higher to teach (usually)
but the question is "what do you want to do?" and how can you leverage your degree towards that goal?
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:54am

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Atom

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Slurvian Films wrote:

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in film besides teach?
If you have one already, I'd say it's rather alarming you have no idea what to do from there. I'd say you can go into an IT field or start and work your way up the movie food chain from a PA.

Otherwise, there's always a Master's Degree you can go for, and with that your options open up slightly more.
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 10:22am

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SteveW

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Im hopefully doing a BSc in Film Production Tech starting sept and the mains reasons for going is because i will be working with people who want make films and have the same enthusiasm as i do, the equipment u get access to for free, being taught by people with experiance in the industry and i also get a work placement year so ill get a taste and hopefully some contacts for after my degree.

oh and the odd £18k debt ill be in afterwards biggrin

If you have a degree which involved learning Directing, Cinematography, Editing, sound design etc and a portfolio full of shorts, music vids and documentaries which you've made both in and out of your course im sure it would create a gd impression in job interviews.

I think the bachelor is as beneficial as you make it, if you just sit around and not put much effort in then its prob not worth doing. If you really get involved, gets lots of experiance, make films outside of your course, send them to film festivals and get work experiance during holidays or as part of the degree etc etc, its going to be a great benefit to your future in the industry.
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 5:19pm

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pdrg

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Well...if you use the course to actually get out there and make lots of showreel, it's worthwhile, as you'll be able to make contacts etc. If you just cruise the academic work, you'll have problems getting any value from the course in the world.

In the parallel world of high-end IT, practically all the big-earners have no IT college qualification, but brains and experience. Same too, in the film world, if you can prove yourself by your showreel and will to work, it'll help you find work easier than a degree.

Do a degree for the experience of doing one - with the exception of the professions (law, medicine, accountancy, etc) it won't make much difference to what you do, or can do later.
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 7:05pm

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BringPopcorn

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Maybe I should rephrase my question.




What can you do with a bachelor's degree in film that you can't do without one?
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 7:49pm

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SteveW

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a masters lol and thats about it. but i wouldnt look at it in that way
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 7:52pm

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Lior

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With or without is the same. It really doesn’t pay to do a bachelors in it. It’s like something u take as a minor just to give u a full insight. In filming you need to always work hard on several films till eventually somebody might take you even though chances are slim, it is still possible. Enter your works in film festivals and try to work with other independent movies being shot (even if it is for free). It's realy rough and extremely competitive. My advice is major in something else that u know will grant u a successful life and will always bring money in. This way you can work on ur projects and support ur self and ur production financialy.

Hope this helps. Good luck to u.

Last edited Wed, 2nd May 2007, 3:08pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 9:22pm

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BringPopcorn

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So pretty much it is a GIANT waste of money to get a BFA?
Posted: Sun, 8th Apr 2007, 9:40pm

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devilskater

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Well, usually in the Bachelor party of a Film or Art degree...you learn about film itself (history, cinematography, all the gadgets and software etc...) aaand about the business management (financing, filmlaw -what can i do and what not-, marketing - how to promote my film-, producer, etc..etc..)

those are the things you would learn...however it's different at every university...

I wouldn't say that it is a total waste, you learn everything there is to know about film and the industry, BUT, if you ONLY do the bachelors, then ofcourse it's a waste...nobody will discover your talent as a potential filmproducer... you should try and work at a filmproduction company DURING your studies, this way, you can get involved in the industry and you get to know some important people...so basically the key to success is to get contacts !!!

I am studying at SAE College, the biggest Multimedia School in the World...some people have a bad opinion of it, others say it's a really good school...I think it is a good school, excellent coaches from the industry teach us the various apps...it's just a pitty that it is soo little (only have lectures twice a week)...so I am ALSO studying Journalism/PR at the moment...would rather work at a filmproduction company, BUT it is quite difficult to find a "part-time" job in a filmcompany in Austria... sad

anyways, hope this helped you a little...
it is up to you, to see if it is worth it or not.

cheers,
d.
Posted: Mon, 9th Apr 2007, 3:01am

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Bryan M Block

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.02

A Bachelor's degree in ANYTHING is better than no degree at all-
You would gain an invaluable amount of experience and access to gear and a community while you are in college you may not have access to otherwise. Sometimes it really is just a matter of getting a job- the place you are trying to get hired with may use it as a way to filter people out of the process- If you have a degree in ANYTHING it may be the difference between getting that job and NOT getting that job

HOWEVER

Having said that, the BFA is a specialized degree and isn't as broad as a more general degree, say in Communications which may incorporate writing, marketing, corporate communications, visual communications, and interpersonal issues. These may help you land jobs in communications firms that do commercial video, where many of the jobs are. Minors and Electives can be done in film, film studies, or visual communications to supplement-


HOWEVER-

If film is your "passion" and you cannot imagine hedging your bets-
It won't hurt you to get the BFA, it just can't gaurantee anything either- You will learn by doing and building your reel, but those involved in a BFA program ARE usually DOING more than others because they are exclusively concentrating in their subject-

IMO, a broader degree will help you more, with a SERIOUS dedication to doing as much elective and minor work as well as doing AS MANY extra-cirricular film/video projects as you possibly can while you are in school will give you the best benefits-
1. solid education that can be applied in many roles of "visual communication"
2. A reel of solid video/film projects that demonstrate an aptitude in that arena
3. SOME (minor/elective) formal education in the film/video process

The truth is that any of the work you do in these areas will help you learn the craft, but it's UP TO YOU to keep building a body of work and pursuing your individual goal- whteher it's to be a director, writer, fx designer, casting director, etc...
find people who are DOING what you want to be DOING and seek their advice and mentorship-

Any degree is better than No degree, but consider carefully your future goals and try to get some one on one advice about a possible "roadmap or path" toward your goal and see how a degree would possibly help you, if you feel that the BFA in film will better serve your goal after some serious consideration, then GO FOR IT and immerse yourself fully in your pursuit- If you feel that a more general degree might serve your goals (or even more "realistic" goals) then go for that and enhance it by doing the minor/elective, extra-curricular approach. BUT WHATEVER YOU DO- GET A DEGREE IN SOMETHING WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG- It has held me up several times in my path, and I finally got a Bachelors degree in 2005 at the age of 35... I am about 10 years BEHIND where I should be...


-B
Posted: Wed, 11th Apr 2007, 9:18pm

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CurtinParloe

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Bryan M Block wrote:

.02
BUT WHATEVER YOU DO- GET A DEGREE IN SOMETHING WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG- It has held me up several times in my path, and I finally got a Bachelors degree in 2005 at the age of 35... I am about 10 years BEHIND where I should be...
Me too. Except I went for a degree in something I wasn't that bothered about for the sake of getting a degree, and it all messed up. It wasn't until I started the film degree I'm on that I realised I had chosen the right path at last.
I've learnt a hell of a lot over the past three years, and although I have a fair bit of debt now, I've been able to spend a lot of that time (and money) working on my craft and making contacts in the industry. To be fair, you can make contacts without the degree, but when you're a student you can get cheap membership of things like BECTU, WGGB, DGGB and Shooting People. Not to mention cheap train tickets for attending distant shoots!
Posted: Sat, 14th Apr 2007, 1:09am

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Serpent

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A college degree in anything will help you on a career path. If you want to go into the film industry, you will gain connections and more internship oppurtunities. If you want to pursue something like a business that works on film and video stuff, I'd look into a business degree. I am personally going to pursue a BFA in film and photography. This will altogether help you in the long run. Most places won't consider you much as much if you didn't have a college degree and if you are pursuing film, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have a BFA in film. The experience you get in film school will also help you, despite what some people say. Yeah, you really could learn that stuff through books, films, the internet, and working on films. But at film school, you get to make connections, work with professors who has some experience in the industry (depending on your school of choice, that is), and you will be constantly working on filmmaking with 20 plus people who are just as into film as you are. If you go to a university or arts college, you will be able to work with other specialty departments such as visual effects, engineering, pyrotechnics, set design, fashion design, artists, photographers, actors, makeup, etc. I think a lot comes with a BFA in film and I'd personally reccomend based on extensive research and college visits.
Posted: Sat, 14th Apr 2007, 2:10am

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Hybrid-Halo

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I don't really think degree's count for anything as a certificate, however - the time you spend on a degree course is likely to provide you with invaluable experience or at least time to reflect and ponder exactly where you want your life to go in terms of a career.

I have a degree in Digital Arts and only really decided I wanted to go into post production as a career in the second year of that degree. This allowed me to gear assignments towards applications and techniques I felt would be useful later on.

Every studio I've visited have told me the same thing regarding a degree - that's it's not any certification but rather, the individuals enthusiasm and experience which is what is important. So find out what you enjoy, then take time getting good at it both within and away from an educational environment. Someone who loves what they're doing and spends their free time doing it stands out amongst the people who simply did work to pass a degree.

Good luck.

-Hybrid.

P.S. - Always keep in mind that you can never stop learning. To some degree I am probably one of the more experienced users here and I'm learning something new every day.
Posted: Mon, 16th Apr 2007, 6:53pm

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Ballowall

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I would say that having a degree grants you far more opportuniteis to suceed in the film industry than just winging it. Im getting a BFA in Film/Video and graphic design and im getting farther this way than i would making videoes at my house!
Posted: Wed, 2nd May 2007, 8:17am

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zguy95135

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I go to Brooks Institute, and honestly I've learned SO much about film making in this last year its mind boggling. If anyone tells you go out and PA, because you will just learn everything by yourself in the industry... thats such BS. Even in the short amount of time I've been here I've made connections, and since this is a incredibly hands on/technical school you learn how to do everything. And I still have two years to go.
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 2:18pm

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Xel

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Short answer: Money.

You can make arguments for what the actual education brings you, the people you meet, the projects you work on, the equipment you get to use, the life lessons you learn and whatnot. Those are all well and good (and I agree, attractive reasons to go to school, and reasons that I've been glad I did). But you can't ignore the green.

Do a little googling and you'll see that having a degree greatly impacts your average salary over your lifetime.

Some sample figures from an article (linked below)

"* Associate's degree holders average $8,000 a year more than their high school educated friends.
* Workers with bachelor's degrees make nearly $23,300 more a year than high school graduates.
* Master's degree holders average $11,300 more a year than bachelor's degree holders.
* Professionals with doctorates have annual incomes $37,265 higher than workers with bachelor's degrees."

http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-advisor/indepth/will-getting-an-education-pay-for-itself.php

You'll find a hundred other articles detailing roughly the same thing. Fact is, you're more likely to get more. So maybe you're not in it for the dough, but it's one thing your degree will help push towards.

So take from that what you will, but it seems like an answer that no one has really been willing to come out and say, so I thought I would.
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 3:43pm

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pdrg

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Some sample figures from an article (linked below)

"* Associate's degree holders average $8,000 a year more than their high school educated friends.
* Workers with bachelor's degrees make nearly $23,300 more a year than high school graduates.
* Master's degree holders average $11,300 more a year than bachelor's degree holders.
* Professionals with doctorates have annual incomes $37,265 higher than workers with bachelor's degrees."
In principle this is sound, but just be aware that statistics hide an awful lot - for instance professionals with doctorates earn $37k more than those with bachelor degrees in professions that require doctorates. You can't be a brian surgeon without a doctorate, and a PHD doesn't make you earn more as a runner/soundie/etc. A PhD in an engineering discipline won't help you so much as an actor...you get my drift?
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 5:29pm

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er-no

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If your thinking about Staffordshire University for that Film Production course...

...well, msg me and I can reveal all.
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 6:30pm

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Xel

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pdrg wrote:

In principle this is sound, but just be aware that statistics hide an awful lot - for instance professionals with doctorates earn $37k more than those with bachelor degrees in professions that require doctorates. You can't be a brian surgeon without a doctorate, and a PHD doesn't make you earn more as a runner/soundie/etc. A PhD in an engineering discipline won't help you so much as an actor...you get my drift?
Of course, there are always a lot of problems with statistics, but we use them for a reason, they are a good way of estimating wink Always just things to keep in mind, take with a heaping of salt, or ignore altogether smile

What's the quote? There are three kinds of information, lies, damn lies, and statistics? Pretty sure I have that wrong, but the general idea is intact wink
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 6:31pm

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Arktic

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You can't be a brian surgeon without a doctorate
And you can't spell without a dictionary? wink

Only kidding man, but I just couldn't resist! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 7:00pm

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Rawree

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Arktic wrote:

You can't be a brian surgeon without a doctorate
And you can't spell without a dictionary? wink

Only kidding man, but I just couldn't resist! biggrin
He's actually got it right, Brian surgery is something altogether different to brain surgery. It requires extreme concentration and a top hat but the wages are the highest in any medical field. Hours are a bit of a dog though. biggrin

Havn't seen you round here in ages Arktic!
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 7:13pm

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er-no

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If you want work in the film industry or work experience. A driving license and car is more beneficial than a degree.

wink
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 7:54pm

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pdrg

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Arktic wrote:

You can't be a brian surgeon without a doctorate
And you can't spell without a dictionary? wink

Only kidding man, but I just couldn't resist! biggrin
Oof! You got me wink
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 8:21pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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er-no wrote:

If you want work in the film industry or work experience. A driving license and car is more beneficial than a degree.

wink
Dependent on where in the industry you want to work, true. Post-Production requires experience and a degree will help you get an interview. Everything opportunity I've had has pretty much been because of my Degree (And I suppose my other film efforts).

A driving license or a car are about as useful as a condom machine in a nunnery if you live in London. However, invaluable for location work.

-Hybrid.
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 9:10pm

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pdrg

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:


A driving license or a car are about as useful as a condom machine in a nunnery if you live in London. However, invaluable for location work.
I'd have to disagree, even though I run the risk of taking this off-topic. When hunting for runners etc, it's always a bonus to get one who can drive, double-bonus if they'll turn up in their car and be a driver instead - in fact I (can afford to) pay for drivers, not runners as they're that useful! Also (for instance) a steadicam op without a car is much less useful, even for London work - they come with so much heavy equipment :-$
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 9:15pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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pdrg wrote:

Hybrid-Halo wrote:


A driving license or a car are about as useful as a condom machine in a nunnery if you live in London. However, invaluable for location work.
I'd have to disagree, even though I run the risk of taking this off-topic. When hunting for runners etc, it's always a bonus to get one who can drive, double-bonus if they'll turn up in their car and be a driver instead - in fact I (can afford to) pay for drivers, not runners as they're that useful! Also (for instance) a steadicam op without a car is much less useful, even for London work - they come with so much heavy equipment :-$
Perhaps I am mistaken then, it strikes me as odd that anyone would need to drive if they wanted to work in post-production due to the close proximity of London's post studios and nasty, evil congestion charges and traffic. smile
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 9:29pm

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pdrg

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:


Perhaps I am mistaken then, it strikes me as odd that anyone would need to drive if they wanted to work in post-production due to the close proximity of London's post studios and nasty, evil congestion charges and traffic. smile
Ahhh, for post, maybe, but for production, golden smile

OK everyone...back on topic time wink
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 10:27pm

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Arktic

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Yeah, I have to agree with prdg here - even in the short time I've been working as a runner in London, the number of times I've been asked if I can drive, it's amazing. For example, in the past seven days, I've been filming in the outskirts of London, in North Wales and in Leicester... All of these times I've had to rely on other people to drive, trains, tubes and BBC taxis - some of which can be more reliable than others!
Posted: Thu, 3rd May 2007, 10:33pm

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er-no

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Yeap.

Gotta drive! Glad I've been a driver for over four years now, has meant I can get to any location even if its an AD calltime of like 3:30am.

sleep

So yeah, driving is about as valuable as a degree in my experience, I've sat there in offices at shepperton and pinewood sifting through CV's for people wanting experience or to be a runner, we'd only contact the ones that have a license or first aid, it was pretty obvious if they had an education just from the style/layout of the CV.
Posted: Fri, 4th May 2007, 5:37pm

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RusSEAL

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Slurvian Films wrote:

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in film besides teach?
Mine actually landed me a job as an Inforamtion Resource Adminstrator of a Fortune Five megolithic media company [Disney]...

Didn't get me on a film set though- that required drive, enthusiasm and a knowledge of explosives...

The "sheepskin" is worth what you make of it- I've had dolts tell me that they'd "hoped my parents didn't pay for such a worthless education" and others that found it rather interesting.
Posted: Fri, 4th May 2007, 10:20pm

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Bryan M Block

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A driver's liscence??

That's just a assumption here in the states- you can't even get a job half the time without a liscence because we have no public transportation!

At any rate- think long term here people- a degree is NEVER and I mean NEVER a GAURANTEE for anything- HOWEVER in the long run you are probably better off WITH a degree of ANY kind than WITHOUT one. It's one less thing people can hold against you as you attempt to get various jobs, etc... throughout your life and your pursuit of a career. We all agree that EXPERIENCE is the best teacher, especially in these fields, but the point of the degree is that you actually get experience while you are learning- ischool is a "safe place to fail" if you know what I mean- It's also a great place to get to try a bunch of different stuff and a bunch of gear and different positions to see what suits you.