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Savannah College of Art and Design - Equine Studies Degree, Worth it or not?

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  • Savannah College of Art and Design - Equine Studies Degree, Worth it or not?

    I am moving to Georgia this summer and have been looking around at colleges (I've already started gen. ed classes). My parents want me to get a degree in something non-related to horses claiming i'll never make enough money in the horse industry, which to some extent, there is a point to be made there. However, there are many different avenues in the equine industry....bringing me to my question....has anyone ever heard of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)? Surprisingly enough, they have a major in equine studies (i'm aware there other colleges that have this too). My issue is that I have for years said I could learn the equivalent if not more as a working student (in a nice facility with quality trainers) and work my way up, rather than paying for a degree in equine studies. I am in no way trying to offend anyone with a degree in this. I'm just curious on thoughts of 1)the school itself if anyone is familiar with it 2) is an equine studies degree worth it? I'd LOVE to hear from someone who does have a degree in this just to hear what the program was like, do they feel it payed off etc. OR from those who have tried to make a career out of the equine industry in some way, and found that a degree in something else is the wiser decision (though i'm aware of many of those stories).

  • #2
    You'd be paying $40,000 a year for an equine studies degree. Forty thousand. Let that sink in for a minute. OK, now, you'll be paying $40,000 a year to an art school to teach you about horses. (Yes, yes. Great IHSA team, yada yada.)

    I, personally, would not do it. If you had said you were going to majoring in film or sequential art, then YES! SCAD's an awesome art school. But there's plenty of colleges that offer equine studies/science degrees for less money. Because honestly, you're not going to be making all that much money, especially right after graduation. And you sure as hell don't want to be owing thousands of dollars in student loans when you leave, knowing you won't be making a lot.

    SCAD's pretty, Savannah's pretty, the art programs it offers are top notch. I passed on getting my art degree from there 12 years ago and went to a normal private college instead. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes I don't.

    Why not pick a non-equine major and go to a school with an equestrian program/team? That way you can continue to get experience with horses and get a degree without the two being tied to each other.

    UGA, Georgia Southern, Berry College, SCAD, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw, Emory, Georgia State, Wesleyan, Mercer, Georgia State all have teams. Some have their own barns/horses, some don't.
    The dude abides ...

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    • #3
      No way!!! SCAD is outrageously expensive, imo, for an equine science degree. Great ART school, great location, but as colleges for an equine science degree go...I would see it as a waste of money. Sorry, probably not the answer you were hoping to see.

      I personally feel equine science degrees are fairly useless regardless of where you get them, but that's just my opinion.

      Also, welcome to Ga! PM if you get lonely. I'm in the Athens area. Went to UGA for a couple years before going back into the horse world full time.

      ETA: agree wholeheartedly with above poster. Good luck with your decision!
      True Bearing Equestrian
      St. Helena Island, SC

      Comment


      • #4
        You want to make money to support your riding? Go to a state college and study something in demand:

        engineering
        accounting
        computer science
        physics, chemistry, biology

        Women tend to waste their college years in things like psychology, art, english, etc.

        Bite the bullet, make the $ when you're young and retire early.

        Comment


        • #5
          This! But I must admit, I truly hope LMEqT goes to SCAD so she can ride on the team... And I then have an excuse to move to Savannah... 10 years to work on my plan

          Originally posted by Opus1 View Post
          You'd be paying $40,000 a year for an equine studies degree. Forty thousand. Let that sink in for a minute. OK, now, you'll be paying $40,000 a year to an art school to teach you about horses. (Yes, yes. Great IHSA team, yada yada.)

          I, personally, would not do it. If you had said you were going to majoring in film or sequential art, then YES! SCAD's an awesome art school. But there's plenty of colleges that offer equine studies/science degrees for less money. Because honestly, you're not going to be making all that much money, especially right after graduation. And you sure as hell don't want to be owing thousands of dollars in student loans when you leave, knowing you won't be making a lot.

          SCAD's pretty, Savannah's pretty, the art programs it offers are top notch. I passed on getting my art degree from there 12 years ago and went to a normal private college instead. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes I don't.

          Why not pick a non-equine major and go to a school with an equestrian program/team? That way you can continue to get experience with horses and get a degree without the two being tied to each other.

          UGA, Georgia Southern, Berry College, SCAD, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw, Emory, Georgia State, Wesleyan, Mercer, Georgia State all have teams. Some have their own barns/horses, some don't.
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          ---
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

          Comment


          • #6
            First of all, if you are already in college classes and only moving to GA this summer, you WILL NOT qualify for in state tuuition which will make college outrageous.

            Second of all, why would you go to an art college for an eq studies degree?

            I would suggest you enroll in community college in GA to get all the basics out of the way cheap, and decide what you really want to major in, then transfer to a college that specializes in your major. Hopefully by then you will qualify for in state tuition.

            There is nothing wrong wihpth getting a good basic degree then getting a higher degree in something else.

            Good luck

            LBR

            PS Going to SCAD for eq studies would be like going to RISD for engineering, pointless and expensive
            I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

            R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BabyGreen View Post
              You want to make money to support your riding? Go to a state college and study something in demand:

              engineering
              accounting
              computer science
              physics, chemistry, biology

              Women tend to waste their college years in things like psychology, art, english, etc.

              Bite the bullet, make the $ when you're young and retire early.
              A liberal arts degree is not always a waste. And there are plenty of unemployed or underemployed engineers, computer people and "lab science" folks. Liberal arts degrees might not provide you a clearly defined career track, but they do provide you with flexibility.

              But I 100% agree that getting an ESD is an absolute waste of money, especially at $40K. Sheesh. That's robbery!
              "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for the input!! Especially because everyone basically supported my stance for years that a "equine studies" degree wasn't worth it...hence why i took 3 yrs off after high school to work as a working student and learn a lot hands on about the industry....the only reason I ran across SCAD was because i had been interested in a degree along the lines of photography, graphic design etc. then saw the equestrian thing...however did not see the tuition price!!! I literally just looked at it quickly and thought it would make an interesting question on here....but really as much as i realistically know it is smarter to get a degree in something else to support my riding... i've always wanted to make a career out of it in some way, shape, or form... just haven't quite had the right situation yet due to a couple non horse related injuries...so i'll probably continue taking classes and hope for the best! at least i'll be in a horsey area (i'll be in alpharetta)

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                • #9
                  I have had several friends who have taught at SCAD before they had an Equine Studies program.I have also seen quite a bit of artwork that has come from there students.If you are not looking for a degree in the Arts and/or money is a concern,I would say NO!
                  Consider being a working student for the summer and see if you can find a trainer to work for on the weekends while you are in school.But please remember that Full Time Student means just that.While you may not be in class for 40 hours a week,you are expected to spend at least that much time in class and studying.
                  www.ctannerjensen.com
                  http://ctannerjensen.blogspot.com/
                  Equine Art capturing the essence of the grace,strength, and beauty of the Sport Horse."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LittleMissCan'tBeWrong View Post
                    Thanks for the input!! Especially because everyone basically supported my stance for years that a "equine studies" degree wasn't worth it...hence why i took 3 yrs off after high school to work as a working student and learn a lot hands on about the industry....the only reason I ran across SCAD was because i had been interested in a degree along the lines of photography, graphic design etc. then saw the equestrian thing...however did not see the tuition price!!! I literally just looked at it quickly and thought it would make an interesting question on here....but really as much as i realistically know it is smarter to get a degree in something else to support my riding... i've always wanted to make a career out of it in some way, shape, or form... just haven't quite had the right situation yet due to a couple non horse related injuries...so i'll probably continue taking classes and hope for the best! at least i'll be in a horsey area (i'll be in alpharetta)
                    At this point, it sounds like a good plan!
                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BabyGreen View Post
                      You want to make money to support your riding? Go to a state college and study something in demand:

                      engineering
                      accounting
                      computer science
                      physics, chemistry, biology

                      Women tend to waste their college years in things like psychology, art, english, etc.

                      Bite the bullet, make the $ when you're young and retire early.

                      This makes THE MOST sense! MORE than you will understand right now. Ask me how I know!!

                      Oh yes, went there through a satellite school many years ago for a while.
                      "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        First, your parents are correct. Listen to them. You will never make enough to live off of AND repay any loans - you will be in debt and you will be forced to take any job available. My guess is, you will get so tired of the crap jobs offered to you for the crap pay, you will eventually leave the business all-together and go into something you won't even use your degree for. You'll still have a crap job (because believe it or not, nobody cares about an equine specialty degree), and you'll still have your loans, which will cause you to become bitter. Either I'm scaring you or making you angry at this point - either way, I ok with having shared this with you. I've seen this scenario play out so many times in so many ways in so many fields and to be honest, if you go through with it, it won't hurt me unless you default on your loan, which then becomes an issue for us all tax-wise.

                        Second, why in the world do people think anyone would care if you have a "degree" in equine anything? Most owners want to know if you have experience. Period. Most people have more faith in a trainer or BM/BO that has years of been-there-done-that under their proverbial belts than someone who say in a classroom, got a degree, and then thought they all of a sudden had something of value.

                        Oh. And do not THINK for a second most people will pay any more for your services simply because you have a degree in equine science management or any other sort of other equine program. Nope. Most people pay for what they get - experience, care/feed and facility. Training is the icing on the cake.

                        It IS possible I am over-reacting to this topic simply due to the fact that the three individuals I have had personal dealings with that had any sort of "equine" degrees were absolute morons. No barn-smarts whatsoever. However, judging by the folks here on COTH in the past 10 years that have claimed to have such degrees, I do not think I am.

                        Obviously, I am not talking about those that are vets/vet techs/repro-specialists. This is more for "Equine Studies" or "Equine Management".

                        This is what I WOULD suggest:

                        Get a degree that is widely applicable and makes good BUSINESS sense: get a degree in either business management, finances, economics, or marketing. That way, if you find that you cannot either find a job you love, you have an applicable skill elsewhere in the regular marketplace.


                        Flamesuit zipped and ready.
                        Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                        W. C. Fields

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with everyone else . Equine degrees are f-ing worthless. That three years you did as a working student has ten times the value and "street cred" of an Equine Studies degree!

                          Also I say forget the Arts thing too. I live in an area with one of the best art schools in the country, RISD. I can't tell you the number of kids I know with degrees and no work. Even the "Graphic Design" area is flooded with people, there is a GLUT of kids with degrees in Graphic Design and can't get work.

                          GO business, go accounting, go law, go MEDICAL or go Veterinary related (Lab Tech, Vet Tech ect). These things will let you pay the bills and let you keep the horses =)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Always do research before you go to a private school. .

                            Ask what happened when the New York School of Visual Art opened a campus in Savannah. check out the courthouse records for this. SCAD does not like competition.

                            Ask how SCAD got its startup/seed money. The president is Paula Poetter.

                            Her father Doctor Louis Poetter, made millions (off of insurance billing) with a little place called "Anneewakee Therapeutic Center" in Douglasville, GA. I think he is still in prison. Google his record. You can find criminal and civil cases on him in Georgia.

                            SCAD has a lot of money. And makes a lot of money. And has a well funded riding program and a beautiful barn. But check the background on SCAD and decide if it is right for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wellllllll.. All other things set aside...

                              New York arrives in *Savannah* expecting a warm welcome?
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My idea-major in business somewhere, and continue riding your butt off. Then once you have your degree you can take it into the job market, OR you can go into the horse world with a lot more business savvy than most barn owner/managers!
                                "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                Phoenix Animal Rescue

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Honestly, if you're 100% set on trying to make it in the horse world as a professional, and NOT having a career that just lets you keep horses?

                                  Get. A. Business. Degree.

                                  It doesn't have to be one from the greatest name school (because you're not putting it on your resume to get a job or get into grad school) but it does have to be one from somewhere that has quality classes.

                                  Seriously, the one thing that stands out if you read thread after thread here on COTH about issues with equine professionals in all the various areas is that the vast majority of them have NO FREAKING CLUE how to actually run a business. And it *is* a business if you're trying to make a living at it. You have to look at it that way, you have to be able to make a business plan, you have to understand how to figure your costs, you have to understand how to communicate clearly and effectively with other businesses and your clients. (And that's not even getting into promotion and advertising issues.)

                                  I would probably be willing to put money on the fact that, in the long term, assuming you make it as an equestrian professional, a business degree from a reasonable school will end up paying for itself when looked at from the perspective of retaining clients, getting new ones, weathering economic shifts, etc.

                                  (Except I'm just about to graduate with one of those darn art degrees, so I don't have any money. )
                                  Last edited by kdow; Apr. 11, 2011, 11:47 PM.

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                                  • #18
                                    My trainer went to Cornell's Ag School. I'm pretty sure it wasn't an Eq. Science degree, but I'm not positive of the title. The things that make her marketable, and set her aside/above because of her education are:

                                    1) She took some business classes in a competitive academic environment. She knows how to manage money/invest/budget/evaluate cash flow.

                                    2) She understands how to read, dissect, interpret and evaluate research studies- think of nutrition, stable management, etc. She can speak very knowledgeably about recent experiments in the horse world, and not just rely on the Word Handed Down Across Generations.

                                    3) She knows some teaching theories and can adapt to the needs of the clients.

                                    4) She communicates very well (some of that, I'm sure, is just a natural gift, but some of it comes from school), verbally and on paper.


                                    So, if I was someone looking to go into the horse world as a professional, AND I had parents pressuring me to go to college (and have a Plan B), I would go to a school with a solid reputation for turning out students who can think critically and evaluate new and old information, and then intergrate it. And I would major in business (or something with similar general appeal), and minor in equine studies (or double major). I don't think it *hurts* to have an equine science degree- you'll enjoy what you study, and you might just learn something- as long as you have a healthy respect for how much you *can't* learn in school.

                                    But, that is true of most fields- you can study and take classes all day long to become a doctor, but if you can't learn "on the job" and take in the wisdom of elders in the field, you will certainly be at a disadvantage after residency when looking for a job.

                                    Good luck!

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