University or apprenticeshipWatch
Quick guides to apprenticeships
Hi, I'm hoping to one day build a career as a film/video editor, however I'm not sure if it's worth going university to study films or do apprenticeship. Which one would be better?
If you want to work as a video editor, the most important thing is that you learn how to use editing software that's popular in the industry, like Final Cut. You can learn to use editing software on your own if you're confident enough or at college or university, where you will get more technical support and be able to learn about other aspects of film making too. Whatever route you go down, you'll more than likely have to start out doing internships or work experience as a production assistant and working your way up from there, even if you've got a degree.
To get a place on an apprenticeship, as they are competitive in the media industry, you may be expected to have some previous knowledge or experience and maybe a showreel/portfolio of work you've done (which you would have after a college or uni course).
The job profile on our website has an outline of all the routes and links to some opportunities you can apply for too.. nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/video-editor
Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions.
Being able to get up close and personal and learn from them was such an advantage in the long term. It’s a learning opportunity you likely don’t get from full time education, definitely not at the frequency you would in an apprenticeship. I managed to get a research publication in my third year because of the professional support network I had.
My point being, studying whilst working alongside professionals can really help your development in a way you’re unlikely to get in any other form of study.
For me, my experience of university specialising in Sound Post-Production for Film was a positive one, but others didn't click with it. So whether university is for you is probably very personal - it’s worth looking into what various uni’s offer, whether it aligns with what you want to achieve etc.
You probably don’t need a degree to be an editor, at the end of the day they value your skillset way more than your grades! But when applying to post-production houses and such, even for apprenticeships, you’ll likely be up against graduates because apprenticeships in Film/TV/Post-Production are very, very competitive... so if you decide to go for this route, make sure you're in the best position possible: have a good grasp of editing software (usually industry-standard software is Avid - which is probably the most widely used - as well as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro). Also make sure you have a good grasp of editing techniques, and a really good showreel 👍
Ultimately it comes down to your skill level and confidence, if you think you can smash an apprenticeship application out of the park then definitely consider that! But if you don't think you have the skillset at present, or you're not too confident, then consider university to learn the skills that will put you in good stead to land you an apprenticeship/paid internship/junior editor role after graduation!
Best of luck in whatever you choose!