Does being Final Cut Pro Certified mean anything?

When Avid and Lightworks systems came out in the dawn of the digital editing age there were specialist outlets that provided specific training courses to make the transition seamless. Equipment like that was expensive and you really had to be lucky to work for a company that invested in one (I was).

Obviously the courses were aimed at those in the industry (with the tab usually picked up by the facility houses) and very few people outside the system invested in the courses with Film Schools taking up the slack, as the prices were pretty steep...

Flash forward a number of years and the market has evolved to market training courses in Final Cut Studio due to industry demand and the prices are at fairly affordable prices. There is nothing wrong with a training course to learn post production skills but with off the shelf products like Final Cut Pro, which anyone can get a cracked copy of, the amount of short courses available are vast with so many organisations offering their form of training usually within the 2-5 day schedule. How do you know which course is the best one to train you properly in the industry and have you checked the credentials of the trainers? I have heard of quite a few places that rush you through the course with no breathing room to absorb the technical information.

My problem is that the certificates given by some establishments subtly hint that doing their courses can get you a foot in the door and in some cases it can give the employer assurance you know your way around Final Cut, Motion etc but all media employment is based on who you know and breaking in is still based on being at the right place at the right time. No company I know of has relied on the certificates to sway the employment of the individual and most of the people have gained their experience through self-training/cracked software and on the job training as assistants (I did). I don’t knock the training but there is a fine line in what you are getting for your money.

If you think it will end there, next up is high-end graphics, which are next in the firing line. Those software packages are plummeting in price and cracked software is becoming readily available and new courses are popping up all over the place and some are even online based so you can work from home. Some come highly recommended but it’s the cheaper ones that will offer poor services. With industry rates tumbling and more courses being run there won’t be enough spaces to accommodate everyone.

In television experience counts and that is something you definitely cannot get from a course.