Why are creative degrees less respected? Watch

User990473
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Following on from a thread I saw from a couple of month ago I wondered why we have this divide where subjects like art, music and creative writing are seen to be less respected.

I enjoy delving in these areas in my spare time and I am more impressed with somebody's ability to create a striking piece of art or compose an evocative piece or music or write something that makes me laugh than their knowledge of the 16th century.

I understand that this respect is probably more related to academic rigor than how 'impressive' the things you can do after studying a subject are but in the only example of a degree that is both creative and respected that I can think of - Architecture - I don't see what makes it different to the other arts? Is it merely the fact that it's a professional degree? Are there any other degrees that you consider to be academic yet creative?
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techno-thriller
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Well, arts don't contribute much to human progression compared to maths and science, that why I think they are less respected
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Pessimisterious
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Yeah arts are just hobbies, frankly, and I firmly believe an arts degree will not change your innate skill anyway. All art is fine but I won't think highly of anyone just because they're studying it. I'd need to see their work first. And I bet my bottom dollar the work of an arts student is not automatically better than the work of someone who's self-taught.

Whereas 'academic' subjects have a distinct learning path with a build-up of new knowledge. Arts is just art, which is, as I said, kind of innate anyway.

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Book_Lover_23
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I totally agree - anyone has the ability to learn maths or physics or something, but you need to be born with natural talent in order to paint or write or play music. I am very impressed by people who can produce amazing works of art or write beautiful songs, mainly because I lack that ability myself. But I think it's because most people on those types of degrees don't really get taught much, they just get their natural talent nurtured. They learn new ways to apply that talent, but they don't really get taught a lot (I'm aware that was quite a clumsy way of explaining it, I hope someone gets it). And I think as humans we sort of look down on those degrees because in our minds it doesn't require a lot of thought to do, because all you're doing is furthering your own talent. Whereas I think people think that degrees like maths and physics are more intellectually challenging. I completely disagree myself, I have the upmost respect for those who pursue creative degrees. But that's why I think most people look down on them. Also I think techno-thriller is correct too - it doesn't appear to contribute much to human progression. You've also got degrees like philosophy which are looked down on for the same reason, I think.


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User990473
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(Original post by Pessimisterious)
Yeah arts are just hobbies, frankly, and I firmly believe an arts degree will not change your innate skill anyway. All art is fine but I won't think highly of anyone just because they're studying it. I'd need to see their work first. And I bet my bottom dollar the work of an arts student is not automatically better than the work of someone who's self-taught.

Whereas 'academic' subjects have a distinct learning path with a build-up of new knowledge. Arts is just art, which is, as I said, kind of innate anyway.

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(Original post by techno-thriller)
Well, arts don't contribute much to human progression compared to maths and science, that why I think they are less respected
Surely you agree that art and music are huge parts of human existence and culture. By studying those and being in those fields professionally you would be improving/adding to our culture and lives.

So is the reason that Architecture is more respected because it has a more obvious impact on our lives?

FYI: I am going to study physics and philosophy so I do kind of understand what you mean but I think that the prejudice towards those subjects is sometimes unfair. I just wanted some opinions on why my hobbies are not as respected
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techno-thriller
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(Original post by Occams Chainsaw)
Surely you agree that art and music are huge parts of human existence and culture. By studying those and being in those fields professionally you would be improving/adding to our culture and lives.
They do add to culture and lives, but to be studying it I think is a waste of time, when it can be self taught.

So is the reason that Architecture is more respected because it has a more obvious impact on our lives?
I guess

FYI: I am going to study physics and philosophy so I do kind of understand what you mean but I think that the prejudice towards those subjects is sometimes unfair. I just wanted some opinions on why my hobbies are not as respected
Its fine a hobby, but not really something that should be taught in uni's
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Book_Lover_23
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(Original post by techno-thriller)
Its fine a hobby, but not really something that should be taught in uni's
But if it wasn't taught at uni's then it wouldn't be taught in schools. English teachers have degrees in literature, music teachers have degrees in music, art teachers in art. Isn't it important to have these subjects on offer in schools? If they weren't then many students would never know they had a talent in one of these areas.


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AreebWithaHat
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Music, film etc should be self taught. I feel sorry for those who waste fees on those degrees and 99% of the time they go into the checkout tills at Asda.
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russellsteapot
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It's a difficult one really.

For me, they're both equally valuable. People have their own ideas of what defines academic prestige and rigour, which tends to go in line with whatever they employers of the day and teachers tell them is the best subject. There's also a misunderstanding that creative subjects are not academically rigourous, which is nonsense. Anyone can go into their university library and have a look at some of the books and journals in there written about creative topics. The reason those books are there is that students of this topic study them. They're often very relevant to the real world, and current issues. And they're no less academically credible than anything else. Misunderstanding a subject isn't sufficient reason to consider it a 'lesser' subject or akin to a hobby (which indicates a lack of understanding of course content in the same way that me playing with a chemistry set as a kid compares to a chemistry degree).

I don't do a creative degree myself, but I do wander the library sufficiently, and have an interest in general education, so I do often find myself looking at creative things in detail, and it's as intellectual, worthy and relevant as anything else.

With any debate like this, it would be rude not to mention Sir Ken Robinson. He puts it far better than me, or anyone else, I think, well worth watching/listening to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
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techno-thriller
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(Original post by Book_Lover_23)
But if it wasn't taught at uni's then it wouldn't be taught in schools.
When it comes to schools, then you're not paying 9k+ a year, so its a waste of time + money, the same can't be said for schools.
English teachers have degrees in literature, music teachers have degrees in music, art teachers in art. Isn't it important to have these subjects on offer in schools? If they weren't then many students would never know they had a talent in one of these areas.


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Anybody can figure out they had a talent, just by picking the instrument up and practicing. Its how we learnt to do things. Its how people learnt to ride bikes or drive cars. The science subjects actually have complex content that needs to be taught.
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User990473
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(Original post by AreebWithaHat)
Music, film etc should be self taught. I feel sorry for those who waste fees on those degrees and 99% of the time they go into the checkout tills at Asda.
All you did was say it is less respected. You gave no indication as to why. :confused:
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the bear
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the barriers to success in creative degrees are far lower than in academic ones.
in art you can just do a dump in a tent and sell it for ££millions. in the olden days art college was about painstakingly acquiring traditional skills of draughtspersonship and theory of colour.
nowadays as long as you are willing to dress up like Mr Brand and be a complete tool there is no reason why anyone cannot be a successful art student.
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1219269
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(Original post by techno-thriller)
Well, arts don't contribute much to human progression compared to maths and science, that why I think they are less respected
I agree, they are not essential to the human race, but that doesn't mean they're not important just if it really did come down to it we could easier do without them as a pose to academic subjects I guess (generalising massively). I mean arts are just so hit and miss, you could be the next Damian hurst or just another errr "underperformer" :/


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AreebWithaHat
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(Original post by Occams Chainsaw)
All you did was say it is less respected. You gave no indication as to why. :confused:
because a degree reviewing batman films will not be as difficult as a degree in physics.
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(Original post by AreebWithaHat)
because a degree reviewing batman films will not be as difficult as a degree in physics.
You try composing something or writing a poem. Failing that, get a physicist to do it.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by the bear)
the barriers to success in creative degrees are far lower than in academic ones.
in art you can just do a dump in a tent and sell it for ££millions. in the olden days art college was about painstakingly acquiring traditional skills of draughtspersonship and theory of colour.
nowadays as long as you are willing to dress up like Mr Brand and be a complete tool there is no reason why anyone cannot be a successful art student.
I'm sorry Russell Brand has already made an appearance - he should be kept out of threads until at least page 7, we need a new version of Godwin's Law to cater for the Brand situation.

It isn't really true that barriers to success in the arts and humanities are lower, try telling that to all the struggling creatives who never manage to turn it into a profession despite their very best efforts and switch to doing accountancy when they are in their early-30s. :rolleyes: Successful artists who make a living out of it are rare in all of the main fields of creative endeavour. There are far more reasonably decent salaried jobs around for moderately skilled scientists or engineers than there are for moderately skilled artists.
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the bear
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
I'm sorry Russell Brand has already made an appearance - he should be kept out of threads until at least page 7, we need a new version of Godwin's Law to cater for the Brand situation.
Well played Madam

:congrats:

this is definitely a keeper
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Book_Lover_23
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(Original post by techno-thriller)
When it comes to schools, then you're not paying 9k+ a year, so its a waste of time + money, the same can't be said for schools.
How is it a waste of money? The majority of musicians and artists earn FAR more than physicists or such like. They're earning millions and physicists are on what, £30k a year? Who picked the better degree? Yes there's an element of luck in there, as there's no guarantee they'll become a successful artist. But if they want to try and devote their life to their hobby, why shouldn't they pursue a degree in it?

(Original post by techno-thriller)
Anybody can figure out they had a talent, just by picking the instrument up and practicing. Its how we learnt to do things. Its how people learnt to ride bikes or drive cars. The science subjects actually have complex content that needs to be taught.
Yes but you need someone to teach you to ride a bike or drive a car, just like you'd need someone to teach you to play an instrument. And you don't necessarily need taught the complex content in science subjects - textbooks explain it the same way the teacher does.




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Hellz_Bellz!
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(Original post by AreebWithaHat)
Music, film etc should be self taught. I feel sorry for those who waste fees on those degrees and 99% of the time they go into the checkout tills at Asda.
I don't think it's wasting fees to do a subject you love and are good at. Choosing a degree is hard for people. I mean if someone is brilliantly creative but is bad at and hates science, why should they apply to do a science they're going to hate just because of the better job prospects - which is not always true anyway, my brother has a degree in a science and is working in a supermarket.

And I could argue that all UK students (apart from Scots, damn them) are wasting fees when they could get that education for free in Europe :rolleyes:
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contradicta
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Not everyone does a degree for job prospects. Anyone ever consider doing a degree they enjoy?

Also whilst artistic talent may be innate, studying it along with other people with the same interests but different methods can really widen your view on things, plus the connections you make whilst at Uni.

If you self teach then you are more likely to stay within what you know, whereas in a taught environment your comfort zone is pushed.

And lastly, many design jobs do infact require a degree.
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