Top Colleges for Film and Video Editing

Read more information on bachelor's and master's degrees offered for film and video editing. Find out the various topics covered in these programs, some of the top schools that currently provide them, and further training requirements for those seeking employment. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Students who wish to study film and video editing are offered a variety of undergraduate and graduate options - all of which provide instruction in the fundamentals of film and video production, such as digital imaging, sound engineering, screenwriting, and more. These programs typically culminate in a final, large body of creative or theory-based work. Upon graduation, individuals typically undergo a brief period of on-the-job training or acquire certification for specific editing software.

What Undergraduate Programs Are Available for Film and Video Editing?

The most commonly offered undergraduate programs for film and video editing are bachelor's degrees. These programs typically require at least four years of study and cover various practical and theory-based topics in the profession, including audio-visual technology, screenwriting, videography, and film history. Along with technical skills, students develop their abilities in critical thinking, reading comprehension and communication.

At the end of these programs, students may be required to submit a thesis project. This is a large body of work that applies the skills and knowledge learned throughout their degree program and can take the form of a creatively produced film or in-depth essay.

What Graduate Programs Are Available for Film and Video Editing?

Some students choose to further their studies in film and video editing through graduate programs. The most commonly offered programs at this level are master's degrees. These programs provide students with the opportunity to specialize and hone a specific set of skills in the industry.

Each program still provides a foundation in film and video studies, but will likely differ in terms of its area of focus. For example, some programs, such as a Master of Fine Art in Film and TV Production, allow students to specialize in areas like directing, editing, screenwriting, sound design, and other aspects of production.

Students who choose to pursue these graduate programs are likely to complete their studies with extensive creative and technical experience and a sample of work ready to kickstart their professional portfolio. Graduate projects are likely to be collaborative among other students. Students may also have the opportunity to screen their works within a school's theatre facilities.

What Schools Offer Bachelor's Degree Programs in Film and Video Editing?

There are plenty of schools that offer both bachelor's and master's degrees in film and video editing, many of which take pride in Hollywood-successful alumni. Some top-ranking schools that offer bachelor's degrees are:

  • Yale University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Wellesley College
  • Vassar College
  • University of California - Berkeley

What Schools Offer Master's Degree Programs in Film and Video Editing?

For those who wish to pursue a master's degree in the field, below are some of the best schools that offer such programs:

  • Chapman University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • New York University

What Are My Employment Prospects as a Film and Video Editor?

The job outlook for film and video editors is a largely positive one, with jobs expected to grow 17% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the projected average for all jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, individuals are to expect a high level of competition in the industry for top-paying careers in the field.

While the motion picture industry currently has the highest level of employment, other popular industries employing film and video editors include radio and television broadcasting, advertising and public relations, and cable programming. The states with the highest levels of employment are California, New York, and Florida.

In addition to careers as film and video editors, graduates of these programs could also pursue related options in the entertainment industry, some of which may require additional experience, including:

  • Film producer
  • Camera operator
  • Scriptwriter
  • Director of photography

Do I Need to Take Additional Training?

As the film and video industry is highly saturated, students are advised to sharpen their competitive edge and absorb as much knowledge as possible to get ahead of the curve. This is one reason why it could be advantageous for students to undertake a master's degree program and further refine their technical skills in the specialty of their choice.

It is recommended that aspiring editors familiarize themselves with as many different types of commonly used editing software as possible. When starting out their careers in the field, individuals will typically undertake on-the-job training in the specific editing software used by their employer. Acquiring certification can also effectively demonstrate their ability to use certain types of editing software. These certifications are usually offered by software vendors and require a comprehensive exam to test competence.

As with plenty other creative careers, having a portfolio online and an active social media presence is essential for these professionals. This helps get them on the radar of prospective employers and provides them with the opportunity to showcase their talents, increasing their chances of landing employment. As they build their reputation in the industry and acquire enough valuable experience, they can eventually take on their own independent projects or pursue advanced positions as a producer or director.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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