The media production field provides various types of media content to a variety of platforms including television, film, radio and web design. Completing an undergraduate degree or certificate program will equip graduates with essential technical skills and knowledge for entry into the field. A graduate degree provides advanced study and more opportunity for advanced roles and leadership positions in media direction and production.
Coursework at every level examines animation, digital editing, screenwriting and media management. A final project or thesis may also be required. For admissions, a high school diploma is required for bachelor's and certificate programs, and a bachelor's degree in related field and portfolio may be required for a master's program.
Media Production Certificate
A certificate program in media production introduces students to the general practice of media arts and teaches technical skills in specific areas of media production. Students learn the latest techniques in the fields of video production, web design, 3D modeling and animation. The curriculum is typically capped off with a final production project that allows students to demonstrate and showcase their acquired production skills. Program coursework is conducted through traditional classroom courses, hands-on studio labs and workshops. A certificate program in media production usually incorporates the following topics into its curriculum:
- Digital media production
- Digital editing
- Video effects
- Web animation
Bachelor of Arts in Media Production
A four-year Bachelor of Arts in Media Production program focuses on the creative and technical processes involved in producing pieces for television, radio, film and other electronic mediums. Students in this program gain an understanding of how media and entertainment impact audiences and acquire practical skills in production processes. Instruction builds technical skills in lighting usage, sound recording and digital video shooting. Familiarity with post-production tools, including software such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe AfterEffects and 3D animation programs, is garnered through hands-on practice. In addition to classroom instruction, the curriculum for this bachelor's degree program requires students to complete a number of studio hours in order to gain hands-on experience using video, sound and lighting equipment. The following topics are usually covered as part of the programs' core curriculum:
- Digital media production
- Media law and ethics
- Film production
- Radio production
- Film and media post-production
Master's Degree in Media Production
A master's degree program in media production provides graduates with advanced aesthetic, conceptual and technical production training in a variety of media, such as fictional and documentary films and digital media. Study topics include pre-production and post-production processes, advanced audio production, production financing and media criticism. Capstone thesis projects are a typical program component. Program coursework incorporates both classroom instruction and discussion with hands-on studio courses. Topics covered include:
- Digital production techniques
- Media arts management
- History of film, television and media
Popular Career Options
Completion of a certificate program in media production prepares individuals for entry-level positions within the media and entertainment industries. Job opportunities may include:
- Media design assistant
- Video editor
- Visual effects artist
- Production assistant
Graduating with a master's degree in media production provides opportunities in a variety of careers, including leadership roles in the media industry. Career options may include:
- Production designer
- Film editor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduating with a degree in media production opens the door for job opportunities in a variety of communication industries, including film, television, radio, sports media and online production. Two examples of job titles in this field are camera operator and film editor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the employment of film/video editors and camera operators should increase 18% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported that film and video editors earned a median annual wage of $61,750, while camera operators earned $49,080.
Those interested in studying media production can do so at the certificate, bachelor's and master's levels. Graduates of this field often go on to careers as video editors or production designers.