Is A Degree In Film Worth It For You?

Degree In Film

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Going To Film School? What’s A Degree In Film Worth?

Film school is as popular as ever and more and more universities are giving out degrees in film every year it seems. But will that degree in film actually get you a career. One educator claims that less than 1% of the graduates eventually become working filmmakers with at least one feature film under their belt. I’m not sure of the accuracy of that number but it is clear that the vast majority of graduates getting a degree in film end up in something other than filmmaking.

If Not A Degree In Film Then What?

Unlike in many professions where 100% of the practitioners are graduates in their field a very large percentage of working filmmakers do not have a degree in film. A goodly percentage aren’t even college graduates.

If you are interested in filmmaking and contemplating going to film school for a degree in film you may want to check out this article that discusses some of the pros and cons of a degree in film.

What’s your opinion? Tell me what you think a degree in film is worth.


  1. says

    If you are serious about making films then a degree really is a good start. OK, many people did well without, but then maybe there are many others that have failed because they did not have enough in depth knowledge.

  2. says

    Ugh, I wrote this really in depth comment responding to your article, but it didn’t go through. :(

    Anyway, basically I would tell any perspective film student to not waste their money on a film degree. If you really feel the need to have a college degree on your resume, then by all means get a degree. But not in film. Instead of a degree in film, minor in film. Your degree should be in something useful that isn’t hard to find a job in. And go to the cheapest school you can. You can make five awesome films for your demo reel at an unheard of school just the same as you can at a top film school. It’s all up to the student. No employer really cares about what school you went to, they only think it’s cool when they recognize the school you attended, but it’s not really important when it comes to film. If you can show them previous work that you’ve done in the past to prove that you will be useful on set, then you’re hired.

    It’s also good to keep in mind that you could be the best film maker in your class or think you are, but it all comes down to who you know in the entertainment business. Jobs are scarce and most information is passed via word of mouth. I’ve met and worked with great artist in film school and many are not working professionally in the film industry. At the same time I’ve met and worked with some good but not great artist and these people are working. Why? Because they have a parent that is a producer or come from a wealthy family and buying their own equipment to get things moving isn’t a problem.

    You learn how to become an awesome filmmaker through practice. Get some basic equipment, grab a book on filming, and play.. Most people go to film school because they can’t afford to rent or buy equipment and think they will look more desirable to employers. Understand that everything being taught can be learned on the internet or in books. So again my advice is; instead of paying a top film school price for your education, go to the cheapest school that has a film program and only minor in film while you pursue an education that can keep you afloat.

  3. says

    I really don’t see it at all and I actually write CVs for a living!

    How many successful directors out there who have degrees? It’s the same with many creative professions: photography, artists, cameramen, etc…Personally I think this is just a bit of overkill, going to filmschool and learning about techniques makes sense but a degree in film I personally cannot see how it can be quantified as a necessity for the industry