General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Is it worth getting a four year degree in video production?

Asked by willbrawn (6609points) June 5th, 2008 from iPhone

I eventually want to have my own little company doing commercials and short films. And ive been thinking about going to the art institute for a 4 year video production degree. Is it worth it? Anyone in the field?

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10 Answers

fabulous's avatar

if it is something you are really passionate about then yeah go for it

willbrawn's avatar

I def love the field, but is getting a degree going to help finding a job?

wildflower's avatar

Yes, it will help your job prospects. Although experience makes up for a lot, the education is often the qualifier or tiebreaker. Not to mention that during your education you’ll get more chances to be creative, not just follow briefs for jobs and that could certainly help in a field where creativity is key.

Skyrail's avatar

Doing a degree in such a topic will obviously focus on what you’re interested in but it will open up many pathways, it’ll help you get experience and it’ll allow you to get an insight on how the video production industry works.

fabulous's avatar


I think going for a degree will give you a more realistic idea of what you are going into you will also have to show that you know what this type of job entails when you go for future interviews. Education will stand to you in the long run.

breanne's avatar

Depends on how much you plan to spend on such an education. I know some people who went to one of those fancy art schools, and none of them have actually found jobs despite having job placement services from the school. Now they’re stuck with 60k in student loans to pay off. So if you do choose to go to school, make sure to get some internships at least after your first or second year, otherwise it might be difficult. I think it also helps to be in LA or NY.

sndfreQ's avatar

In this day and age, the entrepreneurial aspect of the “entertainment industry” places an emphasis on money as a driving force for creating work; some agree with this, but others will say that it is a balance of motivations that leads them to work in this field.

As for answering your question: is it worth it? It would depend on what area of the industry you plan to pursue. Make sure the school you are targeting is aligned with the industry you plan to work. In the arts, media, and entertainment sector, there are a number of options for careers, it just depends on what interests you. Often the media “centers” of the world reside in urban locales, and for the U.S., this would mean, L.A., New York, and others.

You need to make sure that you know what aspect of media you’re interested in, and study it from all angles and perspectives. Also, a school that prepares you via applied practice (read: hands-on) is going to expose you to a balanced education, versus one that stresses academics or theory only for the first two years of a four year degree).

Often, I recommend to students to find a reputable community college that has an established media arts/communications program, as they often have courses that provide the basic building blocks for media production, without the added cost of a specialty school. There, you can build your foundation skills (writing, technical proficiencies, applied knowledge in an entry-level environment), while researching a viable school to complete the bachelor’s degree.

In the entertainment industry, there are positions that are “above the line” (creative, management, directors, etc.), and “below the line” (technical support, crew, other). The above the line jobs usually are filled by professionals with degrees, while below the line positions usually do not require a degree, nor do employers look for it.

In areas of writing, directing, producing, there are many skills to master, and a firm understanding of technical and aesthetic theory, along with a clear understanding of the rich history of the medium are aspects that are best studied and offered in the context of a bachelor’s degree program.

For a similar question (in the area of film production), see this discussion:

p.s. If you’re interested in Broadcast Journalism, there is a slightly different answer for this.

superdan's avatar

dude i live in hollywood. i have lots of friends in the movie industry. if you make a good demo real of your skills and send it out, you will find a job. but it is a VERY cutthroat industry. and one that moves very fast. if you can work and go to school at the same time you will find your dreams.

sndfreQ's avatar

superdan’s right on those points, but keep in mind what specific skills you want to develop and work on projects that demonstrate them. Again, I stress that “above the line” work usually entails years of training, both theoretical and applied. While in school, working a variety of productions and roles will help you to see “all aspects” of the industry from varying perspectives.

shockvalue's avatar

Unless you plan to specialize in a niche of video production, ADR for example; an Associate’s Degree will more than suffice. With a solid work ethic and a willingness to learn and commit to task, advanced knowledge of video production can be picked up quickly.

I took a class in high school, and by the end of the first semester I had landed a job teaching and producing for a professional salary.

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