Master program in Multimedia/video production
February 18, 2014 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone completed a master degree in multimedia? This would be a production degree, not research or theoretical. I work instructional design and support in a elearning group through a major university and have a chance to get tuition at very low cost. I am just not sure if gong through the program will make a difference in obtaining better positions later. I am in my early 40's and transferred to this position/industry after moving around in IT for about 10 years.

My current department has some multimedia/video production needs but it isn't something that I will be doing as my primary job duties.

I can also go the web dev route which I have more experience in, I know css and html some js and jquery. However it was made clear that there will be no opportunities for actually doing any dev at my present employer.

I am used to the corporate world and frankly working at the university is soooo much slower than I am used to. I think I can get used to it but it seems like I may be atrophying a bit. Any comments on the transition from corporate to university and how you dealt with it would be welcome as well. The pay is really low here and I sometimes think about moving back to IT but the longer I wait the harder it will be to get back there. I have been here for about 8 months now.
posted by gregjunior to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What are you looking to use the degree for?

Most video production skills can be picked up for free with practice, library books, the internet, or maybe a low-intensity instructional setting like You could also look at taking a few Continuing Education courses in things like Final Cut Pro.

I would really not get a degree in this unless you have a specific need for the degree in a professional development context, and your workplace would pay for it.
posted by Sara C. at 4:10 PM on February 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah, seconding Sara C. re: what's the degree for?

I'm only a couple of years older than you, I've got a Bachelor's in Audio Engineering, it's what I do for a living (more or less), and I'm basically the first generation of college graduates with this specialization.

And I can't honestly say that having a degree has made a damn bit of difference in my career. I don't regret going to college, but my experience mixing bands live on the radio at the college station was probably more useful to me in getting jobs after college than my actual degree.

The whole intersection of art & technology & college degrees is both pretty new culturally and sort of obscure, IMO, so expectations of formal education haven't really settled down like they might have in, say, electrical engineering or CS. There can be a lot of variation in how important degrees are depending on where you plan to go with your knowledge of multimedia/video production.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:56 PM on February 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

I wont threadsit just answering here, but I don't have any specific reason for needing the degree that I am aware of. It seems that people who have the master level get higher pay so there is that if I stay at the university. If I ever leave here though I am not sure what help it would lend to my resume.

All the people that I talk to and mention that I have cheap tuition tell me I should take advantage but there aren't a lot of other programs that I would be interested in.
posted by gregjunior at 5:16 PM on February 18, 2014

This is one of those things where your portfolio speaks for you in the job market. So start doing your art and putting that portfolio together.

If you like school and want to putter away at it, admit that, but this won't help you get jobs.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:02 AM on February 19, 2014

I'm an instructional designer, and it's been the better part of a decade since I've had a client/project that called for video production work. There's always room for a good multimedia developer on an e-learning dev team (HTML5/jQuery plus the usual Flash/Captivate/Articulate/Storyline know-how), but those skills are the sort of thing you'd be better off learning independently.

If you did get the degree, what do you see yourself doing with it?
posted by evoque at 7:08 AM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would agree with Sara. Keep in mind how competitive multimedia is, what has happened to post production, special effects, and animation as industries. At future jobs requiring video, media will be competing with bright associates and bachelor degree holders, many who train themselves. As a glamour profession you have people competing for scraps. If you think you might return to IT and the corporate world, consider using professional dev money for web development or project management certification. Or an ID degree.

As for the corporate to university transition... Understand that higher ed organizations value degrees to validate themselves, their purpose. Those degrees may earn a teacher or higher ed employee more money or allow them to move up in a school, but won't necessarily be appreciated by other businesses. The benefit of working at a university is that job security is more of a lock (for employees like yourself, not for adjuncts or non-tenured). It attracts bright people, too. But it also means petty, mediocre people who would be weeded out in the corporate world also have a job lock; others who just want to punch a clock and lack ambition, are threatened by change that would require more than coasting... and you'll work with bright people stuck in admin or adjunct jobs. IT personnel were treated like shit at two very different schools I worked at, but in both cases forged beautiful friendships. You cannot believe the pettiness I have seen hampering a talented professor friend...or an older woman who got a (decent) for-profit degree snubbed by her nonprofit college employer who refused to recognize it when she attempted to change jobs. But some of the best human beings I've met were idealists working in higher ed. Do you like the organization? Your department?

Have them pay for Lynda and workshops. For a degree, get something else.
posted by mitschlag at 9:32 AM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks Mitschlag, you lend some good info here.

I actually do have an Instructional Design Bachelor of Science. I think that is what got me in the door.

What web dev certs are there that would be helpful in beefing up a resume? I have some web design/dev work that I have done (well less development more design).
posted by gregjunior at 12:04 PM on February 19, 2014

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