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Is a Film Degree Worth It? Exploring the Value of a Graduate Degree in the Field

July 16, 2020

Video has become part of our everyday lives. It allows us to share stories and stay connected to the world around us. It helps us realize ideas and communicate information. Television, news, movies, and social media are all center points of modern society and are dependent on individuals who have honed the skill of sharing stories through video.  

As video production becomes an increasingly sought-after skill, those who pursue careers in the film and television industry are entering into a rapidly growing and dynamic field that brings stories, dreams, and ideas into reality. 

But when it comes to deciding the path that will help you best realize your dreams, you might be asking yourself, is a film degree worth it? To answer this question, let’s explore the value of earning a degree in this exciting field.

A graduate degree in film and television is about more than just theory — it's  also about hands-on experience and building community. Download our guide to  read about how SHU's program offers all of this and more!

5 Reasons to Earn a Graduate Degree in Film Production

A Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production is an advanced degree that allows you to develop the skills needed to succeed in the film industry while honing your craft, building critical experience, and forming connections that will serve you in your career. Earning an MA or MFA in film and television production can be a strategic move that helps kickstart your career and places you at the forefront of a competitive industry.

Here are five reasons why earning your MA or MFA in film and television production is the next best step to kickstart your career.

1. Build a professional portfolio

Breaking into the film industry requires a lot of hard work. While a graduate degree is not required to work in the industry or on a set, it does give you a competitive edge over others vying for the same jobs by giving you the opportunity to build a professional portfolio before beginning your career. As you earn your graduate degree, you’ll complete the elements needed to put together a comprehensive professional portfolio that you can use in interviews and pitches following graduation.

2. Gain hands-on experience

Writing screenplays, being present on a set, working with a crew, standing behind the camera — when you earn your graduate degree in film, you’ll gain experience working in every area of film and tv production. You will be able to try your hand at different parts of the filmmaking process and see what it’s really like to work in the industry. The experience you’ll gain will empower you with the skills you need to be a valuable part of any team and give you the confidence you need to break out on your own and make your unique mark on the field.

3. Create lasting connections

In the film industry, having the right connections can make a lasting impact on the direction and success of your career. Throughout a graduate program in film studies, you will have the opportunity to develop important connections with industry professionals that can help guide you to success. You’ll also make connections through film festivals and other opportunities to showcase your work. Perhaps most importantly, your professors and fellow students will become a close-knit, lifelong support system who will be a source of wisdom and encouragement throughout your career and beyond.

4. Hone your storytelling ability

Do you have a burning desire to share great stories? Do you have great stories to tell and all you need are the knowledge and resources to turn them into reality? While pursuing a graduate film degree, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone your ability to craft stories, share your ideas, and watch them come to life. You’ll be able to collaborate with fellow students to create engaging, powerful, and meaningful productions.

5. Improve your job outlook

Due to the increasing demand for video content across a growing number of industries and platforms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that careers in the film and television industry are expected to grow as fast or much faster than the national average for all jobs. A rigorous graduate degree program will help you develop the expertise and credibility needed to bypass entry-level jobs and be prepared to land a mid-level career right out of graduate school.

Sacred Heart: A Top University for Film Production Graduate Degrees

A graduate degree in film and television production from a top film school can help you bring your dreams from concept to reality, foster your career growth, and allow you to share your stories with the world. 

At SHU, we are dedicated to offering the best resources available to help you build your career in the film and television industry. Our faculty in the School of Communication, Media, & the Arts is comprised of award-winning screenwriters, editors, producers, and directors, Ph.D. holders, and MFAs, who bring their collective experience and world-class expertise to the classroom. Our state-of-the-art equipment and facilities enable students to learn, study, and create with the same caliber of instruments that they will use in their professional careers.

The tight-knit and passionate community of filmmakers that you’ll find at Sacred Heart University will give you the support and encouragement you need to reach your fullest potential. To learn more about our program, we invite you to download our guide or request more information today. 

If you're ready to pursue your passion for film, download our resource — A Guide to SHU’s Master’s Degree in Film and Television Production.

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SHU Graduate Admissions Team

About the Author

We are the graduate admissions team at Sacred Heart University. We aspire to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students looking to continue their education while empowering them in mind, body and spirit. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a graduate degree at Sacred Heart!

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