Video Editing Degrees: Associate's, Bachelor's & Online Class Info

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What kind of job can you get with an associate's or bachelor's degree in video editing? Find out degree program requirements, online options and info on courses and video editing training programs.
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Studying Video Editing: Degrees at a Glance

Video editors manipulate existing digital or film footage to tell a story. People in the field understand how to rearrange sections of video and create transitions between different scenes. Video editors work in a range of industries and settings, including corporations and post-production firms, or as freelance professionals. Employers typically want candidates who possess several years' experience in editing.

Programs specific to video editing are more often found at the certificate level; however, many schools offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in general video production or video technology that include courses and training in video editing. An associate's degree program in video production introduces students to the basic knowledge required for entry-level assistant opportunities. Bachelor's degree programs offer advanced education that explores a range of topics related to digital video. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports slower-than-average job growth for several careers in the industry. For instance, film and video editors are predicted to see only a 5% job growth over the 2010-2020 decade.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals seeking entry-level positions in production firms, nonprofit organizations or broadcasting People interested in a career in video production or editing
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Camera operators ($40,000)*
- Video editor assistant (N/A)
- Production assistant (N/A)
- AV Technician ($42,000)*
- Film and video editor ($53,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years full-time 4 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Roughly 60 credits- Roughly 120 credits
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability No No

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's Degree in Video Production

An associate's degree program in video production delivers the basic knowledge required for entry-level careers in video editing and production. Many programs take a project-oriented approach that helps develop the practical skills require for successful performance. Programs help students develop skills in the operation of industry-standard equipment, including current software programs. You can expect to learn about the production process, video business and audio production.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Program prepares you for many different entry-level positions in the industry
  • Employers are often looking for candidates who possess higher education
  • Many programs transfer to a bachelor's degree program, should you decide to continue your education

Cons

  • Many positions in this field will see only a slow increase in jobs over the 2010-2020 decade (film and video editors are predicted to see only a 5% increase and AV techs are predicted to see a 13% increase)*
  • Camera operators need to stand for long periods of time and have to carry heavy equipment*
  • Competition against bachelor's degree holders might present a challenge for film and video editing positions

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

The associate's degree program delivers the basic knowledge required for entry-level opportunities in broadcast and non-broadcast settings. You learn the basics of television production, nonlinear video editing and broadcast engineering, to name a few. Many programs teach the skills required to develop a video proposal and follow a strict production schedule. Following are some common courses offered by the program:

  • Digital editing
  • Field shooting
  • Media ethics
  • Corporate media
  • Television studio production
  • Film appreciation
  • Video graphics

Online Degree Info

Very few schools offer a complete online associate's degree in this field. You might find some courses offered online, although checking a college's accreditation might reveal the program is not professional.

Stand Out with This Degree

Employers often prefer candidates with several years of experience. Consider volunteering to complete campus-based or nonprofit organization projects. You could also cultivate your artistic talent by taking multiple opportunities to work on projects that interest you and participate in school-based contests. Networking with individuals in your field of interest by joining an appropriate membership association or student organization can also help you to gain contacts that might assist you during your job search.

Bachelor's Degree in Video Production

A bachelor's degree program in video production or video technology delivers an advanced education that emphasizes the history and theory of film, multimedia and related technologies. Schools design programs to offer a wider range of video technology electives than the associate's degree program. Video production programs emphasize a range of industry-related concepts, including script writing, sound recording, video editing and camera techniques. Some schools require that students complete an internship in a production studio or relevant setting.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Programs offer a wide range of advanced courses and electives
  • Employers may seek candidates with higher education for video editing opportunities
  • A bachelor's degree might lead to advancement; many people move on to pursue production and direction positions

Cons

  • Video editor and camera operators will only see a 4% increase in jobs over the 2010-2020 decade*
  • Competition for jobs will present a challenge because many people are attracted to the industry*
  • Consolidation of roles may lead to few job openings and more duties for those employed*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

The bachelor's degree program prepares students for several careers through a range of advanced computer, editing and media courses. Students might spend several hours participating in projects executed in a video laboratory or workshop environment. You can expect to take courses in intermediate film production, video communications, computer systems, streaming media production, digital cinematography, writing for broadcast and advanced editing techniques.

Online Degree Info

Similar to the associate's degree, very few, if any, online programs exist. Keep in mind that a program's accreditation plays an important role in how well a credential is accepted in the industry.

Stand Out with This Degree

Since experience influences access to video editing positions, and employers prefer candidates who demonstrate success in the field through practical experience, you may want to consider participating in internships that expose you to a range of editing and production opportunities.

Many programs require that students create a portfolio. Your portfolio should include clips of your most important works during your studies. Performing video editing responsibilities for student unions, charities or businesses in your community offers practical experience and material to add to your portfolio.

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