This past weekend I spoke at the University of Georgia’s Professional Entertainment & Sports Association (PESA).
The student conference included panels, workshops, seminars, and professional networking opportunities related to the industries of television, film, fashion, music, and sports.
My panel’s topic was on television production. Each panelist spoke of how they got their start and their perspective on the business.
During Q&A, the panel was asked if we thought a graduate degree was necessary or helpful in beginning a career.
I answered no. I felt that an advanced degree was not critical to breaking into the business.
I still think so, but with the following condition.
It depends what your goal is.
For example, if you want to be a Director, you might be better off spending your money on directing. Perhaps partner with a writer, a DP, or a producer. Learn your craft by practicing it – not studying about it.
If however you want to be the head of a studio, an executive, or an agent then I say yes, go get that advanced degree.
Most executives I know have MBA’s. Most agents I know are also lawyers.
(All that said, education is never a waste of time).
Whether or not you continue your education depends on your situation and your goals.
Whether or not you land a gig in your chosen field depends on how well you build relationships.