An undergraduate education will prepare you for entry-level employment that can develop your craft through experience. A graduate program enables graduates to hone their skills and pursue more advanced roles in video direction and production, as well other facets of the industry such as marketing and social media platform-building. Coursework at every level will highlight topics such as lighting techniques, editing fundamentals, screenwriting, and digital distribution. Graduates of these programs can find employment in the entertainment industry as well as other fields like public relations.
Associate's Degree in Digital Video Production
Associate's degree programs in digital video production emphasize technical knowledge of filmmaking methods. Through both classroom lectures and hands-on labs, students learn to use digital cameras, editing software, and lighting equipment. Courses cover various digital technologies, such as the green screen, as well as inertial and optical motion capture systems. Associate's degree programs typically take two years to complete, and applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and submit a portfolio of previous work.
Associate's-level digital video production programs provide students with the opportunity to learn the technical foundations of techniques in filming and editing. These programs also include instruction in the traditional storytelling production elements. Programs offer such courses as:
- Audio production
- Video graphics
Bachelor's Degree in Digital Video
While earning a 4-year bachelor's degree in digital video, individuals learn to transfer a creative vision into a fully realized, complete film. While collaborating on other student film projects, students learn what film production jobs best suit their temperament. Bachelor's degree programs offer courses in editing systems, conversion between different formats, and film theory. In order to apply, students must hold a high school diploma or GED, and they need to submit a portfolio or prior video work.
This program covers the whole process of filmmaking, from pre-production organizational techniques to post-production color correction and dialogue replacement. Topics of study typically include:
- Sound production
- Digital imaging
Master's Degree in Digital Media Studies
Graduate programs related to digital media production often include courses in film theory, the history of cinema, and research methods, as well as the crossover between film and other disciplines in the humanities. After graduating from a master's degree program in media studies, degree holders may work in fields like advertising, education, media advocacy, research, and non-profit management. Graduate-level programs often take 2 to 3 years to complete; applicants are required to have earned a bachelor's degree, though programs do not typically specify one particular major for the undergraduate degree.
Graduate programs offer courses in documentaries, media theory, and global communication. In these types of programs, you'll learn about multiple issues, such as corporate responsibility, ethics, and world affairs. Common course offerings include:
- Audience research
- Film economics
- New media
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 27,660 film and video editors working in May 2015(www.bls.gov). Among these, entry-level workers were qualified to work in television, radio, and audio production and recording situations with titles such as:
- Camera operator
- Lighting director
- Production assistant
- Technical director
Jobs within the digital media production field are found at educational institutions, marketing firms, non-governmental agencies, and think tanks. Job titles available to master's degree graduates may include:
- Documentary film producer
- Research assistant
- Social media consultant
- Web developer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to BLS predictions, employment of film and video editors is projected to experience an 18% increase from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than average. Film and video editors earned $61,750 as a median yearly wage in May 2015.
Students who want to work in the film industry can earn an associate's degree in digital video production, a bachelor's degree in digital video, or a master's degree in digital media studies. The undergraduate programs are mostly introductory, while master's degree programs are more in-depth, offering advanced multimedia and business classes, as well as research opportunities in the field.