Online Film Bachelor's Degree

Program Details & Career Information

An online film degree prepares graduates to work in many industries. Students considering an online film degree should research program curricula, requirements, and expectations. They should also examine potential career paths and job opportunities so they can choose programs that give them the appropriate skills.

This guide explores the above considerations and may help interested individuals understand exactly what a film degree entails. It can also help prospective students find the right school and program to achieve their goals. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Film?

When most people think of film, feature-length Hollywood movies come to mind. But the film industry also encompasses short films, documentaries, television shows, commercial advertising, experimental cinema, and national and international festivals. Moreover, film uses evolving technologies and special effects to tell stories. Finally, students of film recognize the importance of cinema history and theory as well.

Positions in the film industry go beyond actors and directors. Some professionals raise money to make films while conduct market research to find out which films perform well. Some professionals write scripts while others cast films, set up lighting, operate cameras, assist with production, digitally edit projects, create costumes, and make sound effects.

An online film degree teaches skills that allow graduates to find jobs in industries beyond film. After graduation, film students are equipped to create videos for advertising agencies, nonprofit groups, public relations organizations, and other corporations. They may also work in the growing field of content creation, putting together videos for social media channels like YouTube and/or Instagram.

Ultimately, filmmakers and other film professionals enter the industry because they feel passionately about the craft. The film industry allows them to be creative and follow career paths that they truly enjoy.

What Can I Do with an Online Film Bachelor's Degree?

Many online film degree graduates dream of heading to Hollywood. But earning a film degree can prepare students to fulfill many other dreams as well. They might create beautiful images through cinematography, finance documentaries, animate special effects, or write telecasts. This section summarizes skills students learn from online film degree programs, and it considers potential career paths and salary expectations.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

The best online film degree programs train students in both theory and practice. Typically, students take courses in film theory and history to give them foundational knowledge for more advanced courses. They might also explore specific film movements and genres like silent cinema, Hollywood westerns, and French New Wave.

Online film students can specialize in a certain area like film production, editing, videography, directing, or screenwriting. For example, learners interested in cinematography study how framing, staging, and lighting can build certain shots. As well, students interested in post-production learn skills in film editing, special effects design, or sound editing.

Online learners may also study film interpretation, visual storytelling, and directing techniques, which can help them become directors or showrunners. Screenwriting courses train students to create scripts, and learners in film business and finance courses learn about the planning and management skills necessary for producers.

Film graduates can enter several different industries after they graduate. They should keep this in mind when selecting coursework so they can take classes that prepare them for their chosen field. For instance, aspiring commercial directors may take advertising electives to supplement their online film degree; they could also find a summer internship that offers them real-world advertising experience.

Careers and Salary Potential

As discussed in the section above, film majors learn many flexible skills that can help them find jobs in various fields. The following section provides an overview of the different careers and salaries for graduates with online film degrees.

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries: People working in this industry create large projects like feature-length films. They may work in production and finance, or they may work creatively as directors, actors, and cinematographers.
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting: An online film school degree can prepare graduates to work in television production or creation. TV professionals can work on long-term series, reality shows, news programming, or television documentaries, among other projects.
  • Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations: Often marketing and advertising agencies film commercials or video campaigns. They need professionals trained in film to put together these projects, which include tasks like directing and video editing.
  • Independent Artists: Many people go into film because they want to pursue their own projects. Independent artists essentially work as freelancers, creating films on their own schedules. These professionals also need proficiency in fundraising to finance their work.
  • NonProfit: Nonprofit industries spread their messages through film campaigns and/or documentaries. Film majors can use their skills to execute these projects. They may work as freelancers or in-house at the nonprofit agency.
Producers

Annual Median Salary: $71,680

Producers make decisions on the business side of film and theater industries. They may work for films, television shows, and commercials. Producers not only raise money for projects, but they also may hire the director and other important employees.

Directors

Annual Median Salary: $71,680

Directors oversee the major creative components of films, shows, documentaries, commercials, and plays. They interpret the script, and create projects with a specific vision in mind. They also cast and instruct actors on how to play their characters.

Film and Video Editors

Annual Median Salary: $45,654

Film and video editors put together footage after filming takes place using video editing software. They make sure the project demonstrates the director's vision and tells the audience a story in an entertaining (but not distracting) way.

Cinematographers

Annual Median Salary: $52,600

Cinematographers typically direct a crew of camera operators, guiding them on how to find the best shot with appropriate angles and lighting.

Videographers

Annual Median Salary: $54,700

Unlike cinematographers, videographers often as freelance workers. They may film private events like weddings or birthday parties. They may also create training videos for corporations. Videographers usually both film and edit footage on their own.