What You Should Know About This Degree
Hands-on experience and professional networking are critical to entering and obtaining jobs in the film industry. This is a competitive field where having a strong portfolio of work, practical skills, and the right professional contacts give you a major advantage in getting ahead. While online programs may offer convenience and flexibility, there are benefits to attending an on-campus film program, particularly for those who are just entering the field. If you cannot attend an in-person program, find out if there are experiential learning components like internships that can help you network and gain practical experience.
Another important consideration in the film industry is geographic location. Los Angeles and New York are the main entertainment industry hubs in the U.S., and job prospects are best for filmmakers in those cities. Even if you are earning your degree remotely from your current location, be prepared to relocate in the future to put your degree to work.
Filmmaking requires special equipment including cameras, lights, microphones, editing software, and more. Students in on-campus programs usually have access to this equipment through their schools. If you are enrolled in an online program, find out if you will need to purchase or rent your own equipment to complete your filmmaking assignments.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Film programs:
- Do you need to submit a portfolio for admission? Film schools generally accept students from all educational and professional backgrounds, but applicants must demonstrate some experience with film-making in the form of a portfolio. This can include a short film or reel, a writing sample, or other related material. Visit the program’s website or talk to an admissions representative to find out exactly what type of creative work you need to submit.
- How are online courses delivered? Online programs typically deliver classes synchronously or asynchronously. In synchronous courses, students attend classes remotely at specific meeting times. In asynchronous classes, the lessons and assignments are accessible at all times, giving students more flexibility. Assess your scheduling needs, and choose a course delivery method that works best for you.
You will also want to review application deadlines, and start gathering your application materials at this point. Submitting your application ahead of the deadline will help ensure a smooth admissions process.
Now is also a good time to investigate options for funding your graduate education. Resources can include student loans, assistantships, scholarships, grants, and employer tuition assistance benefits.