There are many routes into the screen industries. Some are formal, such as apprenticeships and trainee schemes. Others are informal, including networking with employers and asking for a job. Think about both approaches.
If you think you might be interested in a career in film, TV, games, animation or VFX, begin by looking at our job profiles. Our job profiles outline what's involved in each role. They also give information on what to study, including A-levels, Highers, vocational qualifications, apprenticeships and degrees. Find a role that interests you and read the detailed information on the subjects that will equip you best and the different routes in.
For many roles in film, TV, games, animation and visual effects, it's essential to have a showreel or portfolio through which you show off your skills. It's never too early to start putting together your best work in a way that you can display to tutors or potential employers. Read our tips on what to include in a showreel or portfolio.
The major broadcasters and some of the larger companies in screen offer work experience. The majority of this is currently for people over 18 and to find these opportunities you need to do your research.
However, there are a range of initiatives which are encouraging companies to offer work experience for those under 18. Careers advisors at your school or college should know what is available in your area as they will have links with your Local Enterprise Partnership in England or similar skills organisations such as Skills Development Scotland.
If you're at university your careers team will also have information about work experience opportunities in the sectors related to your course. It's always worth approaching employers to ask if they have any work experience opportunities.
If you take a degree, then the last thing you want is to waste time and money on a course that won't get you where you want to be. Use the job profiles to find what degree subject will equip you for your chosen job. Then find a degree course which:
ScreenSkills Select endorses screen industry college and university courses that teach practical, industry-relevant and in-demand skills. If you are interested in games, you might like to see a similar university accreditation scheme organised by TIGA, which represents the games industry.
In some roles in the screen industries, it's possible to find an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a job combined with training lasting at least 12 months. Your employer will give you time off to study, usually at a college or university, during your working hours. The cost of the training is paid by the employer and you also get paid a wage, so it's a great way of learning. Go to job profiles, find the role in which you’re interested and click on it to discover if you can get into that role through an apprenticeship. You can find a list of the major employers offering apprenticeships in our information and resources.
If you've completed studies, you might be able to find roles as a trainee. Go to the websites or organisations for which you are interested in working and see if they offer schemes or roles to trainees. An increasing number do. Have a look at If you want to work in film or TV drama, think about applying for a trainee placement through ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder scheme. Trainee Finder helps to place trainees on UK features films, children's TV and high-end TV, such as Wonder Woman, Peaky Blinders and Game of Thrones.