In general, we always discuss how our industry is changing and how we should do things differently to prosper. This is not only limited to our industry of photography: take the industry of education for example. Not all that long ago, college was considered the thing to do to be respected and move forward in your chosen profession.
This still is necessary for certain fields such as doctors and lawyers, etc. But for creative professionals, not only is it not necessary, I believe it’s not even a good idea. Affordable online learning has far surpassed the benefits of college.
The Elephant in the Room
Something that many aren't willing to discuss is the effectiveness of college for creative industries. My local college offers classes and a full program for photography. This sounds great in theory; however, the courses are taught on a very old foundation with film and darkroom processing. It covers the history of photography, the evolution of methods and types of film, and lightly touches on digital photography. While it may be fun to learn about the history of the profession and such, it does nothing for your bottom line or to help you get your business going. The most useful thing you could learn about the industry in this college course may be understanding shutter speed, exposure, etc., which is something you could do on Skillshare in an hour or less and for tens of thousands of dollars less.
Online Learning Is Nothing New
Online learning is certainly not new; however, I feel that acceptance of this and the quietus of the collegiate programs is still a challenging pill for some to swallow. After all, we have been taught by our parents/guardians to do things the only way they knew how.
But now, online learning is available to everyone and the cost is astonishingly different than the traditional learning methods. Your competition is learning this new way, and you can choose to do the same or get left behind. While you are learning about the foundations and history in college, your competitors are learning the actual skills to compete real world job tasks efficiently.
The college graduate certainly will have a sense of completion, but Skillshare students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job.
Skillshare Benefits Versus Cost
With Skillshare, I feel the cost versus benefit value is at an all-time high. Compare college costing easily in the five-digit range per year and Skillshare being $99/year billed annually. What could you do with the extra savings? I know some folks are going to blast me for downplaying college here, but in our industry, think of what you could do with the savings, i.e. not being in debt and having a direct route to the skills you need without all the extra time and baggage? Being an already established photographer, the way I use Skillshare is to hone directly in on something specific I am looking to do.
A regular portrait photographer for example, may (should) wish to learn some video basics to use in marketing materials. While video might share some things with photography such as general exposure or sharpness and color, there are certain things a photographer would need to know to do this effectively. This is where Skillshare shines: you can browse directly into the specific task at hand, and within hours, you can be off and running for a cost that is so negligible it may as well be free compared to traditional learning. Since, for example, the portrait photographer already understands exposure, it's easy to skip that part of the classes within Skillshare and go directly to the specific skills that are needed.
As a photographer working in some video, a great selection might be learning how to use Adobe Premiere, and Skillshare offers a very specific course for exactly the task at hand. And even branching beyond photography and videography, Skillshare has classes on marketing, social media strategy, and business as well, so you can learn how to better use Excel or Google Sheets, how to create a stronger Instagram profile, how to rank your website higher through SEO, etc. The list goes on and on.
Time Is Valuable
Especially working alone, my time is super valuable. The site lets you adjust playback speed, so if you can listen to talking slightly faster, you can get through a series even quicker. All these things combine and make this a very solid platform that in my opinion is a total solution key to learning what you need at a fraction of the regular cost. It's up to us to make good choices on where to learn.
I highly recommend Skillshare, as it is definitely a fast track to gaining new or further developing skills. It has worked for me personally and I can't imagine going back to traditional means to learn things of this nature. The way I see it, at the risk of sounding like a cliche, we waste a lot of time on our daily routines; even just taking 20 minutes a day away from Facebook or Netflix and putting that time in on Skillshare, we will make ourselves better at whatever we are learning.
Head on over to Skillshare and see what kind of difference it can make for you, with a special offer just for our readers. For a limited time, you can get two months of Skillshare completely for free. No commitments, no strings attached, just try it out for two whole months and if you don’t like it, you can just cancel your membership at the end. I really think you’ll like it though, so give it shot by clicking here!