Career Education in Video Production: Program Overviews

Video production programs are offered at multiple levels, starting with basic skills certificates all the way through to the master's degree level. Programs teach students to create, design and produce a story using digital media.

Essential Information

Undergraduate and certificate programs give students the basic knowledge of video production technology, while showing them how to express their creativity. Master's degree programs allow students to work on advanced video production skills. They can also prepare to teach video production. Individuals with education in this area are, depending upon specific experience, qualified for career opportunities in video editing, lighting, directing, design, writing and numerous other areas. These programs take one to four years to complete depending on program level.

Certificate in Video Production

Students learn how to plan a video production and utilize the necessary tools for execution, such as editing software, lighting, microphones and cameras. Participants work together to create their own video productions. Some certificate programs require applicants to possess a high school diploma or GED, while others allow open enrollment.

Classwork contributes to a student's project portfolio, which is helpful in getting into film school and gaining future employment. Classes include:

  • Film editing
  • Managing production
  • Photography
  • Recording and audio
  • Video production

Associate's Degree in Video Production

This program prepares students to enter industrial, commercial, film, television and documentary positions. Field experience in pre- and post-production is gained by using professional equipment and terminology. Credits are often transferable to bachelor's degree programs. A GED or high school diploma is required for program acceptance.

Classes cover a variety of areas in video production and prepare students for advanced study of the subjects. Coursework features:

  • Advertising
  • Digital imaging
  • Lighting design
  • Storytelling
  • Script writing

Bachelor's Degree in Video Production

This degree program focuses on developing one's professional voice while learning about the industry and working with criticism. Students learn to balance expression with aesthetics. Some programs allow students to specialize in a category, such as videography or acting, while other programs provide a general education.

In addition to a high school diploma or equivalency, applicants must submit a portfolio for review. ACT or SAT scores are encouraged but not always necessary.

Students are taught video production basics and are expected to advance their knowledge as they continue the program with courses such as:

  • Cinematography
  • Directing
  • Film editing
  • Producing
  • Script writing

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cinematography and Film Production
  • Film and Cinema Studies
  • Photography

Master's Degree in Video Production

These programs prepare graduates to become filmmakers and to work in academia. Students acquire field experience and production techniques as they learn about content, approach and form. A bachelor's degree in a related area and a portfolio are required for admission.

Content is designed to meet an individual's career needs. At this level, students may choose their area of interest. Many schools offer the following:

  • Directing
  • Film Genres
  • Production design
  • Screenwriting

Popular Career Options

Positions with video production studios, advertising companies and television networks are some of the employment possibilities. Entry-level career positions are open to certificate holders, but many companies prefer to hire a higher-level degree holder. Job titles include:

  • Associate director
  • Camera operator
  • Director of lighting
  • Video production assistant
  • Sound designer
  • Training film producer

Graduates are prepared to enter upper-level positions within the video production industry, such as:

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Instructor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Specific salaries vary because there are many careers in video production, and people have different educational backgrounds. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median earnings for video and film editors as $61,750 in May 2015, while producers and directors made a median salary of $68,440 across all industries (film, video, radio, television and stage).

Video production programs cover material related to a variety of careers, including directing, producing, and screenwriting. Available at the certificate, bachelor's, or master's degree levels, these programs typically last one to four years.

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