Cinematography: A Cinderella Story?

November 8, 2022

Student demand for art programs is growing.

In my last piece about arts programs, I revealed that in Spring 2022, three of the 10 bachelor’s programs with the fastest-growing enrollment were in the arts. To recap:

Spring 2022 YOY Change in Total Enrollment

Cinematography is also on the fastest-growing visual and performing arts program enrollment list at both the bachelor’s and master’s award levels.

What is happening behind the scenes?

Google keyword searches for academic programs are the most current indicator of student demand because they are updated monthly. Our data reveals that in September, Cinematography was the fourth fastest-growing program in Google searches for bachelor’s programs. It was beaten only by three tech programs: Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, and Data Analytics. What’s more is that a related program, Film/Cinema/Video Studies, was ninth.

Fastest-growing Program Keyword Searches (September 22 YOY)

Nationally, median Cinematography program completions are healthy at 18, and are up 19% year-over-year. This suggests the market is not yet saturated – when it is, the median tends to be smaller and declining.

There is bad news and good news on the job opportunities front. Bad news: job postings declined over the last three months for most occupations related to Cinematography, and average salaries are on the low side.

SOC title trends

The good news is that job postings have increased 86% since March 2020, before the pandemic.

US Job postings, cinematography

Wages are better if you look at the 2019 American Community Survey data, which is based on roughly two million records. College graduates report their college major, current profession, and wages. Many Cinematography grads do very well in other fields.

average income for job occupations

Student demand for Cinematography is growing. While job opportunities indicate low wages, plenty of graduates find success in other fields.

Monica Bilson


Monica produces webinars and conference presentations, contributes to blogs, and manages internal projects for senior leadership. She is the designer and manager of Gray’s course with Bay Path University, Academic Program Evaluation and Management.

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