Best Online Associates In Photography Degrees In 2022
As a visual language and a way of seeing, photography is one art that offers so many opportunities for creative expression and technical expertise.
Online associates in photography degrees provide you with an overview of the necessary professional skills, basic art and design principles, and industry-specific tools and techniques you require to begin a productive career.
Follow us closely as we will be exploring the universities with the best online associates in photography, the admission requirements, and the skills needed to excel in the field of digital photography.
Universities Offering Online Associates In Photography Degrees
The following is a list of schools offering online associates in photography degrees;
1. Academy Of Art University
The Academy of Art University is a private art school in San Francisco, California that offers a wide selection of online degree programs for potential artists, designers, animators, photographers, and so on.
In its world-class photo facilities, the university teaches students how to align technical knowledge and skills with personal aesthetics to reveal a distinct point of view.
The Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission and offers an associate of Art in Photography.
The classes for the program are about 7.5 to 15 weeks long and they can be completed online. Students are required to complete 66 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
2. Columbus State Community College
CSCC is a public community college in Columbus, Ohio, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Its Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography was created to satisfy the growing need for qualified digital photographers by providing graduates with the benefits of a comprehensive college education while building a strong foundation in digital design, marketing, communications, and web design.
Students taking the program are expected to complete a minimum of 75 credit hours. Columbus State Community College offers an open admissions policy but requires official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a placement test to determine starting classes.
3. Dakota College At Bottineau
This is a public community college in Bottineau, North Dakota that offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Photography.
This program teaches students all there is to know about digital cameras, the different display methods (including sizing, online storage, and print options), and how social media plays a role in digital photography.
The online Associate of Applied Science in Photography prepares students to enter the professional field of photography through a unique, hands-on learning experience. The duration of the program is 2 years and students must complete a minimum of 62 credit hours within that period.
To apply, candidates must submit their ACT or SAT scores, and official transcripts. DCB is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
4. Dakota County Technical College
With accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, Dakota County Technical College is a public technical college in Rosemount, Minnesota offering an Associate for Applied Science in Professional Photography.
The program focuses on the principles and techniques of communicating information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the creation of images on photographic film, plates, and digital images and prepares students for careers in industrial, scientific, and photojournalism fields.
The program also covers courses on instruction in camera and equipment operation and maintenance, film and plate development, light and composition, films and printing media, color and special effects, photographic art, photographic history, and computer applications.
To graduate students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours. Dakota County Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
5. Lake Area Technical College
Located in Watertown, South Dakota, Lake Area Technical College offers an Associate in Photography which is a unique blend of photography and business training that prepare students to start their own photography business in the artistic/visual communications field.
Before students can graduate, they are required to complete a minimum of 70 credit hours and either an internship or capstone project.
To apply, candidates must fill out an online application and answer a questionnaire. Lake Area is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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6. Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College, Florida, is the largest institution of Higher education in the U.S. The school offers an Associate of Science in Photographic Technology that helps aspiring photographers develop a wide variety of photographic skills and the ability to use these skills to produce commercially viable photographs.
MDC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The program can be completed fully online and students are required to complete 64 credit hours. To apply. You must submit your high school transcripts and ACT or Sat test scores.
7. North Seattle College
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, North Seattle College offers an Associate of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Photography.
The program classes are available online and can be completed on your own schedule, however, you would be required to complete 90 credit hours to graduate.
To apply, candidates must provide their official transcripts, and ACT or SAT test scores and complete a placement test.
8. Santa Barbara City College
This is a public community college located in Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara offers an Associate of Arts in Applied Photography.
The program has a curriculum specially designed to build technical skills in the operation of 35mm and medium format cameras, using traditional and digital camera systems.
With an emphasis on the importance of creativity and originality in image making, the program also provides students with basics in digital imaging, editing, creative manipulations, digital printing, and color management.
Students are required to complete 60 credit hours and a final portfolio to graduate. If you are interested, you can apply online via the school’s website with copies of your official transcripts and test scores ( ACT or SAT).
Santa Barbara is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
9. South Seattle College
South Seattle College is an accredited public community college in West Seattle, Washington that offers an Associate in Arts in Digital Art and Photography.
The program lasts for two years and students are required to complete a minimum of 90 credit hours. Interested candidates can apply online through the school’s website.
10. Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU offers some of the lowest online tuition in the U.S.
The institution also offers an Associate of Art in Photography where students are taught the technical skills in thematic storytelling, image composition, design theory, using light and color to create compelling digital images, and post-production editing techniques.
Graduates in digital photography from Southern New Hampshire University become professional photographers in a variety of fields including photojournalism, portraiture, and commercial or product photography.
The associate degree is a 60-credit hour program and each class is 8 weeks long. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Subjects Covered In An Online Associate Degree In Photography
Online associate degrees in photography provide aspiring photographers with the basic principles and techniques they need to launch their careers. Typically, the courses taught include the principles of lighting, basic design and color theory, and digital portfolio management.
The following are some courses you may come across during your associate program;
- Design Theory
- Digital Imaging
- Photo Editing
- Image Composition
- Thematic Storytelling
- History of Photography
- Business of Photography
- Post-production Editing
- Media Communication
These courses are aimed at teaching you the fundamentals of photography and through them, you can have an understanding of the history of the art form and how to use digital editing tools and software.
Upon completion of the required courses, you must have been able to gather enough material for a portfolio. Your portfolio showcases your previous work and it is very instrumental in securing a job.
Positions In Photography
Photography provides numerous career opportunities to individuals who specialize in it. Here are some positions available to photography majors.
- Wedding photographer
- Portrait photographer
- Camera operator
- Film and video editor
To excel in any of these positions, you require a superb combination of technical skills and storytelling ability, and the courses aforementioned can help to develop these skills to further improve yourself, you can take core courses in photography. They help to develop good writing and communication skills.
Associates in photography usually include courses on business/finance to help photographers who are interested in running a business understand the business/financial side of things.
After you have earned your online associate’s in photography, you may begin to search for a career path to specialize in. Photographers work in different industries and as such have different job descriptions.
While some photographers work in advertising, photographing products for companies, some take pictures for newspapers, magazines, and other publications. You may even decide to take personal pictures like portraits and wedding pictures for clients.
Pro Tip: You can combine your passion for photography with your interests. This can help you decide on which area to specialize in. For instance, if you love photographing people, portrait photography may be the best option for you.
Skills Required In Photography
Photography is all about creativity and communicating your message through pictures. As a student with an interest in photography, you must have certain skills.
While you may have some naturally, the others you will have to learn during an associate degree program in photography. Some of these skills include;
- Attention to detail
- Photo Editing
- Hardware and software expertise
These skills can help you build a solid foundation for your career. Although photography and related careers can be described as independent positions, as a photographer you are likely to interact with a wide range of professionals and you should be able to connect with your audience effectively both visually and verbally. \
Photography Careers & Salaries
The majority of photographers are freelancers earning by providing services to multiple clients. The broadcasting industry is the highest-paying employer of photographers followed by newspapers, periodicals, books, and directory publishers.
The table below is an illustration of the careers in photography and their annual median salaries according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Film and Video Editors||$62,680|
|Set and Exhibit Designers||$54,860|
|Photographers — Broadcasting (Except Internet)||$50,128|
|Craft and Fine Artists||$49,960|
|Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians||$49,050|
|Photographers — Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers||$47,132|
|Photographers — Photographic Services||$36,753|
After your associates in photography, you can go a mile further to pursue certifications, advanced training, or positions in different creative industries. Gaining higher certification or training can give you an extra advantage when applying for a job.
Photography Associate’s Curriculum & Courses
The following are some courses you are likely to take during your Associate in Photography program;
- Media Communication And Visual Literacy
This course provides a framework to access, analyze, create and participate with messages in different forms. It will help in the improvement of your ability to analyze media and become more aware of implicit messaging
- Perspectives In History
This course examines the human past and studies the beliefs, practices, and relationships that shaped human experience over time. It is intended to help you reflect on history and understand human behavior.
- Digital Photography
This course provides an introduction to the most important functions and techniques used to create high-quality and professional digital photographs with modern technology and equipment.
- Introduction To Digital Imaging
This course will provide you with relevant knowledge of digital imaging techniques and production methods including scanning, digital capture, color management, software instruction, print output, and archiving.
- Photographic Practice In The Digital Age
In this course, you will learn new technical skills for producing, editing, and distributing photographs.
- The Business Of Photography
This course will teach you all the principles and discipline you need to start your own photography business. This includes things like registration licenses and taxes, getting your first clients, creating a website, how to manage overhead costs, and setting price structures.
- Lighting For Photography
This course teaches you how to use different professional lighting equipment and how to treat different effects with them like natural lighting and studio lighting.
- History Of Photography
This course is a survey of photography from its prehistory to the present. Students earn and are able to identify a wide range of photographic processes and the important figures that utilised them with intention across a variety of genres and social contexts.
- Photographic Aesthetic Concepts
This course teaches students how to critically analyze photography images and how to recognize the ways in which photography shapes people’s understanding of the past and present.
- Basic Design And Colour Theory
This course teaches students basic knowledge of doors and color schemes. You will learn how to create balance emphasis and proportion within an image and how to use different color combinations for different effects.
Note: Course titles and requirements may vary at different colleges and universities.
Associates In Photography Admissions Requirements
In order to be admitted to an associate’s degree program in photography, you would be required to fulfill certain requirements. Some documents you should have include;
- Your application form
- Official high school transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- SAT or ACT test scores (if applicable)
- Statement of purpose describing your career goals and interests
Most schools offering online Associates in Photography often have similar admission requirements but in a few cases, there might be slight differences. A small processing fee may also be required at the time of application.
Accreditation For Photography Programs Online
Regional accreditation is a verification that a college or university has been evaluated and found to meet set academic standards. Before applying for an online associate in photography, ensure that your chosen school has received its regional accreditation.
This is very important as it can affect you and your career. For instance, some financial aid can only be given to students of an accredited school.
If you decide to change schools or enter a bachelor’s degree program, your accreditation makes it easier to transfer credits. Also, employers prefer to hire individuals who graduated from a school that has been accredited.
Visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to learn more about regional accreditation.
Financial Aid And Scholarships
Different institutions, governments, and non-governmental organizations offer a variety of financial aid opportunities to qualifying students (this includes online students). You may qualify for either state or federal aid or for employer programs.
Some schools also offer scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. Before choosing a school you may want to put this into consideration. Research the different types of financial aid and scholarships available for students in your list of selected schools before settling for one.
If you decide to apply for federal financial aid, you have to start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Photography A Good Career?
Photography is a great career for many professionals as it allows expression and creativity. As a photographer, you also have the opportunity to help people preserve valuable memories.
Photographers work in a variety of industries which offers them great career potential. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the annual median wage for photographers is $38,950.
The photography industry is very competitive and pay can vary. Some photographers make between $24,544 and $77,758 per annum. The opportunities available to you may depend on several factors including work experience and geographic location.
What Education Is Needed To Be A Photographer?
Asides from the basic secondary education, it will be to your advantage to be skilled in the use of different types of cameras, photo editing software, and related technology. Knowledge in the creation of artistic effects using lighting, color, and other visual elements would also be helpful.
You can gain these skills in different ways. If you are not self-taught, you can learn from community classes or by watching videos online.
Although educational requirements vary between employers, an Associate in Photography can provide you with comprehensive training in photography and can also teach you soft skills and business skills.
What Can You Do With An Associates In Photography?
With an Associates in Photography, you can find employment working for companies that provide photographs for publications.
You can also start up your own business by opening a photography studio where you take portraits, wedding pictures, etc, and get paid for your services.
Alternatively, you can work in news media taking photographs of recent events for them to be published alongside stories in newspaper publications or online or work in the advertising industry where you take pictures of different commercial products.
How Long Does It Take To Get An Associates Degree In Photography Online?
Typically, an Associate in Photography takes about 2 years to complete if you enroll as a full-time student but it may take a longer period of time if you enroll as a part-time student.
There are also some online associates in photography that offer classes that are only 8 weeks long. You can opt for those if you want to spend less time doing your program.
Is An Associate’s Degree In Photography Worth It?
Yes, it is. For many professionals, an associate’s degree in photography is worth it. An Associate degree helps to expand your skills in working with photographic and digital imaging technology and it also provides an opportunity for you to develop a professional portfolio that you can use in securing jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, jobs for photographers are expected to increase by 17% over the next decade.
What Do Most Photographers Major In?
- Art/Art Studies, General.
- Commercial Photography.
- Digital Arts.
- Visual and Performing Arts, General.
What Is A Degree In Photography Called?
A degree in photography is called a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography which focuses on hands-on instruction in the technical and creative aspects of visual art. The program has courses that include photography techniques, studio lighting, color theory, graphic design, digital photography, and artwork critique.
How Long Is A Photography Degree?
The course takes three years to complete. For each year, you are required to achieve a total of 120 credits and a total of 360 credits by the end of the third year.
Is Photography A Hard Degree?
it’s a hard but fun degree. It requires some technical skill, some philosophy, and an ability to do research band evaluate the work of other artists.
Do Most Photographers Have A Degree?
No. Most photographers do not have a degree and most clients are looking to hire photographers with experience and the right quality of work
What Majors Have To Do With Photography?
- Art History, Criticism and Conservation.
- Cinematography and Film/Video Production.
- Documentary Production.
- Fine and Studio Arts.
How Do I Start My Photography Career?
- Find Your Niche
- Build a Portfolio
- Include Your Prices
- Create Some Marketing & Branding Materials
- Find a Way to Generate Leads & Consider Freelance
- Get Referrals and Testimonials
- Figure Out the Numbers
How Do I Become A Photographer Without Going To College?
Here are some ways to become a photographer without a degree.
- Get familiar with your camera
- Watch online tutorials
- Hit the books (and online portfolios)
- Practice, practice, and practice!
- Expand your network
- Get a mentor or apprenticeship.
What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Photographer?
Technically you do not need any formal qualifications to be a professional photographer, but a higher education program, online photography course, or university degree can help you to improve your skills, build good practices, and gain important industry connections.
Do Photographers Make Good Money?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for photographers is about $30-40k with the top 10% of earners making over $70,000.
Getting Your Online Associates In Photography
Generally, an online degree program provides flexibility and convenience and there are numerous online associates in photography you can enroll for.
These associates provide you with the necessary skills and techniques you need to excel in the field of photography.
Before enrolling in any of the schools offering associate degrees, make sure to confirm that they are regionally accredited and check to see if they offer scholarships or financial aid.
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