Careers with a Film Degree

While you don’t have to have a film degree to be the next Alfonso Cuaron or Ang Lee, getting one can definitely lead you to the right direction, if it’s a career in the film or media industry you really want.

A degree in film studies gives you a chance to gain first-hand experience in film-making, as well as getting in-depth information on film, from its history down to various theories surrounding film creation and appreciation.  As a bonus, film students have access to a wide variety of films, from Hollywood hits to indie films.  All in all, a film degree is an all in one package wherein you gain knowledge and experience in all aspects of film creation and appreciation. 

But what career path lies ahead of a film student?  It will depend on the graduate’s experience as well as the focus of his film studies, whether it’s hands-on film making per se or in film appreciation and theories.  In 2009, about 60% of film studies graduates are employed full-time*.  About 12.5% of those found a career in the arts, design and culture sector, while about 34% found work in the retail and catering industry, probably as a temporary measure until they will be able to find a job in the film, media and arts industry*.  A meager 4.7% were lucky to find a job in the film and TV industry as directors, video / film recorders and broadcasters while 6% pursued higher degrees in film studies.* 

Considering the numbers, the film industry is indeed very cut throat.  But with a little bit of luck and perseverance, students may be able to find a career in the following fields:

  • Education.  Those who can’t do (for a variety of reasons, including lack of opportunities in the film industry), teach.  The academe is full of career options, from full-time professors to elective lecturers.  But this may require post-graduate dedication.
  • Business and Marketing.  With their creativity and investigative abilities, film studies graduates can have a promising career in advertising and marketing.  They can make great art directors, copywriters, and market researchers. 
  • Music scene.  Film studies graduates can make use of their experience and film making skills in creating music videos for old and new bands. 
  • Publishing industry.  Film studies graduates can find careers in the publishing industry, as journalists (particularly in the show business sector) and photojournalists, photographers, film critics, content managers or editors, or as researchers. 
  • TV industry.  While the figures mentioned above may tell you that you are still at odds, you may be still be able to worm your way into TV production through the following jobs:
  • Floor managers
  • Costume designer
  • Photographers
  • Props managers
  • Production assistants
  • Program researchers. 

While statistics show that the future for film degree students and graduates are bleak, it’s never impossible to find career in the field and industry they want to be in.  Patience, perseverance and a dash of luck can land you your dream job in the film, TV, arts and even in the business and marketing industry.    

Are you ready to pursue your career in film? Get more information on programs in your area and online using our Art School Finder form at the top of this page.