Do You Need a College Education to Pursue a Career in Film?

One of the many question that run through my head regarding any career path is always this: What education requirements do I need to obtain in order to pursue this career path? However, through several personal, experienced , and outside sources, I have learned that you don’t always necessarily need to major in that same specific field in order to pursue it


An experienced worker in the film industry explains reasons why this is also true for film careers. Laryssa posted her take on the subject within her post titled, “Do I Need a Film Degree to Get a Job in the Film Industry?” Laryssa answers this question starting with saying, “You absolutely do NOT need a film degree in order to make it in this business. People in TV/film come from all walks of life. Sure, you’ve got the die-hard movie buffs that lived, ate, and breathed film since they were kids — but there are equally as many people that got into the business without the “proper” degree.” Another post by Lynn O’Shaughnessy titled, “Do You Really Need a Film Degree?” from, states, “I think that’s hogwash. You don’t have to major in filmmaking to break into the movie industry. Sure, it might be easier to get connections at a film school, but there are no guarantees. It’s also better in graduate, regardless of your major, without being burdened with six-figure student debt.”

Other sources pin point the fact that film school isn’t actually as needed in today’s society due to the advantage in resources. Another blogger posted the same opinion on the subject titled, “Is Film School Worth it?” from “Filmmaking is an art, a creative process. A painter needs no certificate or training to create, just a brush, paint and canvas. A filmmaker only ever really needs a camera, film, and editing suite to make films; and because of the development of modern technology almost anyone can afford the some rudimentary equipment and learn how to use it fairly quickly. Plus, with the advent of YouTube you can distribute your film to the world in a day.”

However despite this reasonable advice towards those who aspire to pursue a career in the film industry that are fearful of scarcity within the job market in the film industry and to not disregard those who graduated with a film degree, film school also has its advantages. With film school on your back, it is probably very helpful for employers to hire narrow down applications judging the educational aspect of your experience. However, what many usually look for in hiring within this industry is based on hands on experience and connections. If someone only had grades and a GPA to show for your credibility in film, would you hire them over the person who had no degree in film but still worked on and completed some exceptional films and worked with a few respected directors? In this way, pursuing this career is extremely beneficial for one because it takes hard work, passion and dedication, which include hands on experience without the debt that comes after schooling. Either way is a good route but it depends on what path you are willing to take.

Here is a video from an experienced filmmaker wo gives pros and cons on whether you really need education in film to pursue a career in the industry:



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