What Education Do You Need to be a Video Editor?

video editor at their workstation uploading video to a computer

The demand for video editors has increased since businesses and content creators need high production values to attract audiences. Since the Internet is full of distractions, a skillfully edited piece of footage is one of the most effective ways to grab someone’s attention. If you are interested in capitalizing on this growing demand, then read on to learn more about what education you need to be a video editor.

Why Do People Become Video Editors?

Before pursuing an education and a job, you should be sure that your desires match the role you are working toward. Luckily, there are a few main archetypes to guide you in this process. Whether you are a film buff, audio connoisseur or video content creator, you must have a passion for video editing to be successful.

TV/Film Lovers

It goes without saying that film lovers would be more inclined to learn how their favorite movies are created. This naturally leads you down the path of studying the video editing process. Also, movie lovers organically uncover the language of film through the relentless viewings they engage in. The more filmed content you watch, the more you will see how video editors put finished media together.

Audio Connoisseurs

Sound is just as important to the overall production of a film. Audiophiles make for great editors because they are interested in perfecting the sounds of a movie. Sound effects sell the impact of visual actions on screen. To make a door slam or haymaker punch convincing to the audience, a satisfying audio clip must be applied with precise timing. This is what many video editors choose to specialize in.

Video Content Creators

The exploding trend of Internet influencers and content creators has resulted in the need for video editing skills. If you are an aspiring content creator, chances are you will do the editing yourself until you can pay a dedicated employee. Until your social media presence is large enough, it is infinitely more cost-effective to learn the basics of editing your videos. Many influencers end up loving the art of video editing and choose to cut other people’s footage on the side for extra income.

What Education Do You Need to be a Video Editor?

As with all digital arts, you technically don’t need a formal education to get started. However, any successful artist has put in countless hours of practice to reach their potential. The time you need to spend training depends entirely on the quality of the information you have access to. While you can explore the endless sea of information online, the level of quality varies wildly. This can make the process of training far longer than it needs to be.

If you desire more efficient training, then attending a formal education program is a good place to start. A dedicated digital arts curriculum provides focused learning that can results in graduating in less than two years, and much less than the traditional four-year timeframe.

The Benefits of a Video Editing Degree Program

There are many benefits to choosing a degree program over self-study. The following are some of the most appealing benefits why people attend schools instead of scouring the Internet for YouTube videos.

Benefit #1: A Complete and Proper Education

To get your foot in the door of the film industry, you will want the best education possible. The issue with self-study is you often must cross-reference many different sources of information. These sources may be decent enough, but there is no cohesion between each lesson. With a traditional degree program, there is a structured progression of classes that helps you fully understand the material. Many concepts build on one another, so it helps to learn the fundamentals of video editing in the preferred order.

Benefit #2: Exploring Your Specialty

The great thing about being introduced to every aspect of editing is you get to determine what you are most interested in. You may discover that you love creating sound effects and want to focus on audio. Until you try working on each element of a production, you won’t know for sure which talent you will wish to hone. You also get a slight taste of the other digital art forms, so you may even decide to pivot completely into another field that suits you better.

Benefit #3: Standing out from the Crowd

The entertainment industry is an incredibly competitive enterprise. There are many people just like you who that wish to turn their passion for art into a career. Doing whatever you can to stand out is not only encouraged, but necessary if you hope to stand a chance of getting hired. One way to prove your merit is to complete a degree program. Finishing a degree is no small feat. It shows potential employers how serious you are about turning your dreams into reality. Your confidence during interviews will also be bolstered and that will come through for employers.

Benefit #4: Networking Opportunities

As important as your education is, a degree program should also be viewed as your best networking opportunity. You will meet many fellow artists who wish to create amazing things. You can team up and form your own studio or keep in touch throughout your career. Keeping in touch with as many people as possible is the cornerstone of a successful career. You never know when an old friend from class will extend a job or business opportunity.

Benefit #5: Industry Experienced Instructors

Finally, everything you learn is from experienced instructors. These teachers all have completed projects under their belt, and thus can impart wisdom you can’t get anywhere else. You can rest assured that each lesson you receive is something that helped your instructors out when working in the trenches. Since you plan on entering that same arena, it is important to garner insight from those who came before you.

What Do You Learn in a Video Editor Program?

A full-time student can obtain a degree in just two years. Despite the quick duration, a lot of valuable information is packed into the program. At a base level, you will learn the entry-level skills necessary to work in any area of post-production. You will get an introduction to visual editing, sound effects, and motion graphics techniques. The motion graphics portion also includes a course in animation. These tools blend together seamlessly throughout the program.

Use Industry Standard Tools

The learning process is directed through actual projects you will work on both by yourself and as parts of a team. The best way to learn editing techniques is to hop into the booth yourself and practice. You get to engage with the tools and equipment used by professionals, instead of merely reading about them. This experience will be crucial when transitioning into your first paid gig after graduation. Knowing how to work the software used by professionals will enhance your skills.

The Theory and Artistry of Editing

During a video editing and motion graphics program you learn the theory and artistry behind video editing. The main theory is how you can manipulate the flow of time as perceived by the audience. Video editing theory can help move a story along and allow the audience to accept false information as true. You learn how to speed up and slow down the passage of time through cutaways, to reduce action or even add action that didn’t exist in the first place.

Other film and video editing theory you will learn includes building screen space and vectors, blink theory, showing successive and simultaneous events, factors that control internal and external rhythm, as well as the use of color, repeated forms, scope of the shot, camera placement, fades, wipes, and dissolves to name a few. Learning the theory and artistry behind video editing can help increase your film’s production value.

Communication and Teamwork

As you begin to work on larger projects, you will learn just how important communication and teamwork are to your success. Most productions require a large staff to meet the rising standards of modern audiences. You will almost always be working with fellow creators once your career begins. An important part of your education is learning how to work together for the sake of the project. Placing your ego to the side to make the best thing possible is a talent you will develop naturally throughout the program.

Final Thoughts

Aspiring video editors have a lot to look forward to. There is an exploding job market just waiting for you in video editing. The main thing you need to do is find the best education you can. The higher the quality of your education, the better chance you have of getting your foot in the door of video editing and motion graphics. Once you get into the industry, you can learn everything else while on the job. To ensure the best chances of finding a job in the industry, gain a formal education with an emphasis on digital video editing and motion graphics. The rest will come naturally.

Video Editing & Motion Graphics Program

Ready to learn more about a career in video editing and motion graphics? IPR’s Online Video Editing & Motion Graphics Degree program is entirely online, and allows students to earn a multi-skill, multi-functional Associate of Applied Science Degree in less than two years*.  Students learn entry-level skills in every aspect of post-production. IPR’s Video Editing and Motion Graphics program prepares you for a real-world role in post-production processes in the editorial, color, and motion graphics/animations departments.

If you are interested in a career in video editing and motion graphics you should tour our Minneapolis creative arts college, see the labs, and meet our staff. Call 1-612-351-0631 or contact admissions to make arrangements.

*2-year program completion based on full time enrollment