Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my education and questioning myself whether or not I am doing the right thing in regard to my choice of major. Many of you know, I have been going to the Community College of Baltimore County part-time since the Fall of 2009 as a Digital Photography and Imaging major. I enrolled there, knowing that we would be moving back to Harford County at some point. This was fine, because the program I was in was a statewide program, that would allow me to pay in-county tuition rates once I moved out of county. Last year, this program was no longer considered a statewide program, and the rates went up. I was grandfathered in, but the discount went from in-county rates, to a discount on tuition, but all the registration/technology/etc fees would be increased to out-of-county rates. Basically, for 6 credits, my bill each semester went from $700 to almost $1,100. Still a great deal for higher education, but an increase none the less. I decided to stick it out since CCBC’s photography program has a focus on digital, and Harford Community College is stuck in the dark ages; they still focus on film photography.
Lately, I have been questioning my decision to major in photography. I still love it, but I don’t believe I’m as “creative” behind a lens as needed to make it as a professional photographer. My goal when I went back to school was to finish out my 30 years at Baltimore County 911 and retire, then use my education to pursue a second career as a photographer. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about trying to change career paths before my time at Baltimore County is complete. At this point, it would be foolish to give up the 8 years of seniority I have there and start over, but there are plenty of other opportunities in the county I could go after with the right training and education. On top of that, I’m not really happy where I am right now. I will continue to work as hard as I can to move up the “chain of command” and advance my career at 911, but at this point, I think it is in my best interest to see what other opportunities are out there for me.
This brings me to my current dilemma. I am about 5 classes away from completing my AA in Digital Photography at CCBC. After looking at the General Studies major at Harford, I am close to, or finished, the requirements for an AA degree already. I have about 80 credits between the two institutions, and there are only 62 required for graduation. Plus, the cost of going to Harford over CCBC is significantly less ($83/credit hour vs about $120) . The question is, where do I go from here? I will probably transfer to Towson University to work on my bachelors, but I don’t know what I would major in. In my spare time, I have been reading and studying meteorology, and I really enjoy it. Towson does offer a minor in it, so I would probably go after that, just for my own personal enrichment and knowledge. I started school as an accounting/business administration major, so I could always get back into something along those lines.
I have too much time and money invested in photography already, so I will obviously continue to work with that as a hobby or side job at some point. There is no way I would throw all that away. Hopefully, once I am re-accepted at Harford and have a chance to talk to an academic adviser and see where I stand, I will be better prepared to make an informed decision. So, it looks like I will probably be studying at Harford Community College again beginning in the Fall. The only question left is, then what?