Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
Skip school and assist. Work your ass off, save your money, and learn how to deal with people and run a business. Degrees in photography are worthless unless you intend to teach and/or write/edit. People who will hire you to do professional photography don't give a rat's ass about your schooling. They only care about your portfolio, your work ethic, and your professionalism. The 4+ years you would spend in school are going to be nothing but a loss of time in the end, if you really intend to simply be a professional photographer.

This being said, having a degree never really hurts, and always inching toward it (maybe one or two classes at a time) may be worthwhile if professional photography doesn't work out in the end after all.

...but if you are 100% certain that all you are going to do is to work as a professional photographer, then spending time in school is a liability (i.e. a 4+ year vacuum of time, money, and lack of experience), not an asset.
I would tend to conditionally disagree. If you are planning on getting into commercial work especially. While skill and knowledge has little to do with schooling (or lack thereof). What it will do is give you solid, theory based tools to make your work better. It does create good work habits, and gives you the tools to think critically about art in general, as well as photography, which helps define and refine you compositional and color theory skills. In addition, you have a common, consistent and defined skillset that allows you to accurately and effectively communicate with AD's, designers and the like.

I felt like a lot of the others here, and it wasn't until I was in school for a couple of semesters that I realized it had changed not just my compositional skills, as well as being more aware of the interplay of light, but also the way I assessed my own and other's work changed dramatically. Granted, I'm not 18 anymore, and it's been a few decades since I was, but I can say that if you apply yourself to it, it will change you as an artist, refining you.