Please see lots of info on the other Runner and Work Experience pages ....
The media industry is a tough business and getting that foot in the door in usually only achieved by sheer hard work, and persistence.
You simply cannot expect to walk straight out of school or university into a job. You will have to go through the apparently full time job of letter writing /job applns/ phone calls, researching companies, networking etc And this is all helped by StartinTV.com
Do I need a degree.
Probably, but not necessarily. A lot of employers will prefer this level of education. There are mixed feelings about media related degrees, and solid practical experience in a professional environment cannot be beaten. Talent, skills, and experience are what employers are looking for, and your degree could be in physics, English or marine biology!
If you intend to go to film school - check out their equipment and facilities, and find out who went where afterwards. Check out the lecturers backgrounds.
You can find comprehensive information about training and courses via the Skillset website.
Do I need experience
Ultimately yes, but initially employers look for enthusiasm, energy and commitment. If you can demonstrate a genuine interest in the business, and can show that, aside from your course, you have gone out and gained some experience in media or entertainment related areas, this will impress an employers.
Should I work for free. First, only work for free if you want to. Then, only on the projects where it will be valuable experience, source of knowledge and of course contacts. Ideally this will be with a professional crew, and a shoot that has a proper budget, that uses professional equipment, and has taken proper safety and insurance measures.
You should always receive payments for expenses and be fed and watered, even if working for free.
As a runner or a junior with little experience, someone should be asking a minimum of 50GBP a day, certainly if doing long hours.
Post-graduate film school projects are often a good starting point to get experience, - good kit, good crew, and they will be insured.
If you really have that desire to work in tv or film, and you really work at finding a job, it will pay off in the end. Don't sit back and expect it to come to you. Although StartinTV.com is a great help - you need to build up your experience to add to your CV... and update that CV ... all the time!
Now working for the BBC
Great job at MTV
Rewrote CV and got a fab media job!