The point is that you can get a good overview of a lot of photographic areas that you
could not even begin to or afford to obtain on your own.
As to the degree, I never cared much for the degree because I don’t believe it gets you
much. Where is the market that cares other than a corporate art department? So, why
pay more for credit courses. My wife and I took the course work in evenings over
several years and this was more my thing than hers. [I reciprocated with several years
of drawing including botanical drawing.]
The impact of learning is that it will show in your work and you will make better
photographs and/or will offer a greater breadth of photography to your customers than
others who lack the knowledge.