Those interested in formal television production education can pursue an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree in the area. Two-year associate's degrees are normally conferred as an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) in Radio and Television Broadcasting. The curriculum covers technical aspects, such as camera operation, audio engineering and directing. Students have the opportunity to participate in field shoots and build portfolios.
Four-year bachelor's degree options include a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Television Production. Students learn about industry standards and gain direct experience through collaborative work in classrooms, campus studios and production facilities. They can also select a concentration in writing, directing, producing, post-production or interactive television. At both of these levels, only a high school diploma or equivalent General Education Development (GED) is necessary for admission. In addition, bachelor's degree applicants will have to submit a portfolio or work sample.
Two-year Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Fine Arts in Television Production graduate studies are advanced and emphasize a mastery of technical, telecommunications, management and aesthetic skills. Courses cover visual editing theories and techniques, the history of electronic media, television station management, and screenwriting. Students can exhibit and discuss their work with professionals and peers through on-campus studio work, festivals and conferences. They also garner research experience while doing a thesis project. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and provide a portfolio.
Associate's Degree in Television Production
Coursework for the associate's degree includes general education units and covers the technical, theoretical, media and communication elements of the field with core subjects like:
- News collection and writing
- Principles of mass communication
- Advertising basics
- Public speaking
- Nonlinear editing
Bachelor's Degree in Television Production
The curriculum for the bachelor's degree includes general education requirements, specialization courses and core topics. Specific classes related to creation and production may vary depending on the concentration. Central lectures address:
- History of television
- Writing, storytelling and aesthetics
- Live broadcasting
- Television cinematography
- Telecommunications laws and regulations
Master's Degree in Television Production
Students of the master's degree will receive foundational education in television management, criticism and programming. They will also learn about:
- Television marketing and sales
- Documentary production
- Advanced TV writing
- Video production
Popular Career Options
Some associate-level graduates work as videographers, radio show hosts, television reporters, audio engineers and broadcast technicians. Popular job titles that bachelor's degree holders are eligible for are:
- Television writer
- Production assistant
- Director of photography
- Lighting and sound designer
- Production manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment for producers and directors is projected to grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028, with a mean salary of $89,840 as of May 2018. More work opportunities are expected to come as production companies try to expand their mobile and online television services.
Undergraduate and graduate programs in television production involve coursework and technical hands-on training. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in this field have a variety of career options, including joining the media industry as producers and directors whose employment opportunities are expected to grow in the next decade.