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  1. #21
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    I don't know the man nor the status of his marriage to make any broad sweeping comments about who should accomodate whom in the relationship.

    But I can vouch that, sad though it may be to some, lack of credentials can be a serious career impediment. Simply put, for many employers, educational credentials are a basic entry requirement. All of the good work, accomplishments, creative vision etc. are fine - but most employers need a basic entry standard BEFORE they consider these "qualitative" factors of a particular applicant.

    Most employers have written job descriptions which note minimum requirements - and in this case that likely includes either a BA or BFA. This minimum requirement protects the employer and enables her/him to then make a final decision based on more qualitative factors such as vision, ability to fit in etc.

    Most employers nowadays are subject to the Equal Opportunity Employment Act which mandates fairness in hiring practices - including a "level playing field". Consequently, no employer wants to run the risk of an employment discrimination suit because it waived a basic requirement for one applicant but not for all.

    So it's not so simple as just saying - prove your worth despite the fact you don't have the degree. Because what the applicant really would have to argue is that the employer should remove the degree requirement for everyone so he too can qualify.

    Simply put yourself on the other side of the equation. Why shouldn't the employer first insist on a basic educational credential - if just to thin down the pile of applicants? She then starts with a potential employment grouping that have all met a standard, objective criteria. Thereafter, she is much "freer" to use her qualitative judgment for the final decision. If only because no rejected applicant can complain: Why did you hire him, when he didn't even have the college degree you said was required?

  2. #22
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    George points out that the man needs the credientials to ply his trade.

    The OP stated that this is the path he started on decades ago and was forced to sidetrack. This is not a man who after ten years of marriage desided to take up golf for the first time and has rarely been seen at home since. This is who was then and who he is now, so this is no surprise to her. This should not be about her controlling him. This should be about who he is and that being himself will increase the family income while improving his [and eventually everyone in family] happiness and well being.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  3. #23

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    Actually Steve, when I left college in 1981, I was an engineering student, and was offered a manufacturing engineer position at a Fortune 500 company. The decision came down to: minimun wage job for the next 4 years or ~40K a year to start, ramping up to around 60K within 12 months...(that's 1981 dollars, they made them a lot bigger then..) wasn't a bad decision whatsoever, and I don't regret it for a minute.

    2 years down the road I was offered a very sweet "go away" deal during their initial downsizing and I took it, left with a huge chunk of change and got back into graphic arts.

    Within 8 months, I pretty much owned the catalog design and shooting business in the area ( New England), for a few years at least. (by 1985, I had 2 Compugraphic typesetters, Linotype imagesetters, a full lab (E6, C41, B&W) and a studio the size of a warehouse jam packed with equipment and a staff that was top notch. (except for the majority of the shooters we hired, fresh out of college with BA or BFA's. Funny tangential story, we had a silverware catalog we were shooting that required a bunch of shots at 100%. I gave the job to one of the newer guys, and stood around and watched. After 45 mins of calculating bellows extensions, bellows factors, etc.. I walked up, took two rulers, and in about 30 sec. was set up for 1:1, I mean what were they teaching these guys?)

    At the time, you had a designer, typesetter,art director, etc. all involved in making even a simple one page sales sheet. You had your copy typeset, the designer(or a flunkie) pasted up the layout with comps for your pictures, you made bluelines (matte or clear acetate/mylar with the important items hand drawn), took your product to the photographer, he laid the blueline on the ground glass, etc. you then paid said photographer, left with your trannies, took them to get separated, stripped into the final films, then burnt plates and printed. The fact that we offered a one stop solution, from concept to final film, did in computer stripping, typesetting, etc. and just output film seps isn't terribly revolutionary today, but this was 20 years ago. When the Macintosh made everybody a "desktop publisher" I saw the writing on the wall and got out while the going was good. I spent the next 14 years working in and around the sign trade, as there was still a need for "real" designers, that could come up with a design, sketch it, then draw and hand letter it (in the beginning at least). Creatively very satisfying.

    When I moved here (central IL) my wife was fully aware of my photograpy, and from time to time I shot a little here or there. Within a year of moving here, my wife and I had opened our own signshop, and at first it was very satisfying, I would never get rich, but we made ends meet most of the time.

    Like everything else (photography included) once it's affordable for the masses, suddenly people that have never worked in the trade are signmakers, giving work away, even worse. (bad work, at least the customer get's what they pay for...) having been down that road before, we closed our shop, and made arrangements for me to get back to doing what I love, photography. Sold the house, living in a cheap rental, parked the Audi for now, and drive a 20+ year old van, doing everthing I can to minimize any non photography related expenses.

    It's only the last few years that I've picked up an RB system, several LF cameras and have gotten back into photography hard core. My wife is 100% behind me, and is willing to work full time while I go to school, even if the school work load becomes such that I have to focus on it and not work (at least there's Pell grants and Stafford Loans, worse case). I've given it a great deal of thought and am commited to doing this, and my wife is far more supportive than she should be, given that I'm asking her to give up alot.

    The reality is, it's just as copake said, without a degree, at the most I get a look at my book, looks of amazement when they see some of the companies I have done work for in the past, then sorry, but we require a Bachelor's degree, good luck in your job hunt.

    Hope that clears some of the confusion without adding a layer or two...


    erie

  4. #24
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Erie,

    I very much figured that this was your situation - which is why I didn't want to get into the relationship thing.

    You wife deserves a ton of credit for being supportive of what you are trying to do.

    FWIW, although with very different career "particulars", I have a similar path - although I'm ahead of you by a few years (now 56 y.o.).

    But, when I was in my early 40's I was m/l at a career "dead end". I'd done well but had made some changes such that I was beginning to see more doors closing than opening. It was at that time that I got serious about pursuing a long-delayed desire to get my law degree.

    I started out going part-time while trying to maintain my career in bank finance. But I was serving neither master very well. My first semester grades "sucked" and I was noticed at work more for my leaving at 4:55PM each day than for what I was accomplishing.

    Finally, my wife and I had THAT conversation. She was (and remains) successful in her career and said: "Quit your job and go to law school full time."

    It was music to my ears.

    I scrambled to catch up the credits so I could get done in the three-year span of F/T school vs. the P/T 4 years. And I made it!

    Today, guess what? I still work in a bank, I still do finance, but I do legal work and get to use all my talents and experience.

    Oh, and I never would have gotten my current job without the "credential".

    Oh but one thing, you have to find a way to avoid that 5 hour R/T commute! It will kill you. There are some good ideas here such as Open Univ., On-Line courses, or even finding a Motel 6. On that last point - how about you find one half way between?

    Sometimes you stop there on the way back - catch shut eye and maybe arrange to leave a couple of extra clothes changes in the office etc.

    Whatever, good luck - and keep your eye on the prize w/o killing yourself in its pursuit!

  5. #25

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    Their are so many options that you would be insane to commute. If you can still receive transferable credits at lower rate locally take them!!! In my opinion you are better of taking all of your lower devision coursework at a community or city college for two reason 1) you will save a bloody fortune, 2) you WILL get a better education. Lower devision at a university is usually taught by grad students. The community college I attended had a staff full of Phd's, who had worked in their respected fields for at least a decade. Taking lower devision at a university is for rich kids, and those who got scholarships.

    Other then continuing at local school contact the university and see if they have online or correspondence courses.

    Yours;

  6. #26
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    There probably isn't much in the way of hotels/motels halfway between where he lives and St. Louis. There is a reason it is called the 'great plains'.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  7. #27

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    Diane, it's actually the "not so Great Plains", at least here in the nether regions...

    Chris, this is a community college, probably one of the best photography programs at the 2 year level, nevermind a community college. I'm looking into how this affects my pell grant, as there is a community college about 1/2 hour away (close by midwest standards) where I can at least take a few of the non photography related requirements.

    Copake, it's funny, when I met my wife, nearly 10 years ago, I lived in massachussetts, met her on line and ended up driving out here every other weekend to visit, 1000 miles (one way). I figured out pretty quick that it'd be easier to move here.


    erie

  8. #28
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    It's only the last few years that I've picked up an RB system, several LF cameras and have gotten back into photography hard core. My wife is 100% behind me, and is willing to work full time while I go to school, even if the school work load becomes such that I have to focus on it and not work (at least there's Pell grants and Stafford Loans, worse case). I've given it a great deal of thought and am commited to doing this, and my wife is far more supportive than she should be, given that I'm asking her to give up alot.
    I am glad to see that you have a supportive wife. That puts you 90% of the way there. You have picked the school that best meets you needs so now you are down to handling the logistics.

    I highly recommend that next January you file the FAFSA forms.
    http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
    All school loans require that these forms be completed.
    There are many scholarships that never used because no one applies. Usually they need a one to three page paper to qualify. With your experience you should have not problem writing these papers.

    Good luck,
    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #29

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    steve,
    already done, and pell grant approved. the only stickler is we would need a stafford loan to move, and the financial aid office insists you must have 6 credits prior to applying for a stafford loan, a detail nowhere to be found on any of the federal student aid websites.


    erie

  10. #30
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Call the school's financial aid department. They will know how to help you.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.



 

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