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Do you need a video editing degree or certificate

  • Published on June 4, 2020
Image showing video editing app used by thos with video editing degrees or certificates.

Those looking to work in the field of digital video often ask if they need a video editing degree or certificate to be considered for a job. To get a leg up in an expanding, competitive industry, many wonder where to begin learning the basics of video editing and what it takes to get a foot in the door as a video editor. Here, we explore the impacts of video editing degrees and certificates and their role on gaining a video editing job.

Who needs a video editing degree or certificate

Video editors are responsible for sifting through raw footage, selecting which clips to keep, and editing them together in a sequence. While YouTube tutorials make it easy to learn consumer-level video editing apps like iMovie, those interested in becoming video editing professionals will likely benefit from the experience gained by obtaining a degree or certificate.

Learning video editing for experienced professionals

Video editors can obtain a degree to show they’ve specialized in their field and taken a variety of classes related to the post-production process. In some cases, degree programs allow students to narrowly focus their studies on certain areas of video editing, such as color correction or audio engineering. These highly specialized roles are more often used in studios that work on major motion pictures or streaming services looking to create high-quality content.

Internships are another way video editors gain experience, and are required by some degree programs in order to graduate. These opportunities give students real experience to list on their resumes when starting their careers and help them begin to build portfolios. Internships also help students forge connections with professionals who can give advice, critique portfolios and write recommendations for future job opportunities.

How a video editing certificate helps

While there are numerous benefits to getting a degree in video editing, attending a community college or four-year university isn’t always time- or cost-effective for everyone. Obtaining a certificate showcases a willingness to learn new skills to potential clients or employers. Job applications often contain a certification section for applicants who have elected to diversify their skill set and continue their education. If the application doesn’t contain a section for certification, it can always be mentioned in a resume or cover letter, helping a prospective applicant stand-out from others.

Video editing certificates provide several advantages when applying for jobs, placing a bid to work on a project or building a client base:

  • Establish credibility
  • Demonstrate commitment and ambition
  • Show an openness to learning new skills in evolving fields
  • Provide opportunities to build a portfolio
  • Help when negotiating for a higher salary or rate

Video Editing Certificates

AGI offers both part-time and full-time video editing certificate program to earn certification, with courses in both formats led by live instructors. The program provides a foundation in digital video editing, effects, and motion graphics using industry software like Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Are there video editing certification tests

Certification tests are a great option for those who don’t have time to return to school but want to supplement their skills and expand their pool of job opportunities. Yet there is no independent standard video editing certification test, leaving a certificate program from a reputable school as one of the only independent ways to showcase video editing skills that have been learned until a comprehensive resume and demonstration reel have been developed. These can be from a more comprehensive certifiate program, or from individual video editing classes such as  Premiere Pro courses or Final Cut classes.

Employment Outlook for Video Editors

The job prospects for video editors are good, as the field is growing. Between 2018 and 2028 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment rate of video editors will increase by 11% over the decade. Streaming services such as Netflix and HBO rely on video editors in order to produce new content for their pipeline. As these services continue to grow, the demand for video editing can be expected to increase at a similar pace.


Written by Morgan Keith


About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.