Let's see - academia or experience... I don't think that this is an unwarranted question. I took an undergraduate degree in philosophy and completed a masters degree in theology followed by further linguistic studies. I considered a career in academia (Classics) but decided against it in order to follow a career in field linguistics and subsequently photography.
It's common in school to fall into the pattern of providing what is expected in order to succeed with a degree. Currents of expression in vogue today (although whatever is current passes onto the next 'in' thing) are difficult to swim against and the effort required - for me - wasn't worth the bother. If you can develop and maintain your own 'voice' without having it compromised (as opposed to enhanced) then you'll be on solid ground. Being able to follow your own star has its own rewards. If I needed a particular degree in order to gain access to a particular career door I would do it, enjoy the enjoyable coursework available and hold my nose through the rest. If I didn't need the degree for professional reasons I would just study what appealed to me and make photographs, informally informing myself all the while through reading, experience and observation - something that gets richer the longer one lives. Good luck!