When it comes to online video editing courses, there's a lot of choice out there, and all that can be overwhelming. In this post, we've gathered together the best video editing courses on the online market today, to help you decide.
But just like with any type of learning or tool for graphic designers, one size doesn't fit all, and the course that's right for you will depend on your preferred software, budget and favoured way of learning. In short, there's something for everyone here. So read on and we'll give you the info you need to find the right online video editing course for you.
01. Larry Jordan
- Pros: Industry focused, expert insights
- Cons: Can’t download videos, 3 months minimum subscription
Who better to learn about video editing than someone with a stellar career and reputation in the industry?
Larry Jordan is an award-winning producer, director, editor, teacher and trainer who’s worked for US television for the last five decades. He launched a website offering online courses in 2003, specifically to enable editors, directors and producers to learn more about the evolving technology of media.
Jordan's lessons explain the fundamentals of the software, then illustrate them with stories on how they're used in real-world projects. There's a big focus on updates to these tools, so that regular users can understand the latest features and what they can be used for. Software covered include Adobe tools (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Audition, Encore, Media Encoder, Prelude) and Apple tools (Compressor, Final Cut Pro X, Motion).
There are 2,000 courses in video editing to choose from, and you get access to all of them for $19.99 a month (for a minimum of three months on the basic plan) along with webinars, tutorials and newsletters. Alternatively, you can pay for courses and webinars individually.
All lessons are streamed, but there's no option for subscribers to download videos. There’s also no free trial option, although there is a selection of free tutorials so you can see what kind of thing is on offer.
02. Inside the Edit
- Pros: Creative focus, unique angle
- Cons: Can't download videos, doesn't teach software
Are you already working as a video editor, or close to getting your first job? Need training that goes beyond the basics, and gets into the nitty-gritty of what’s really needed in the real world of video editing?
Inside The Edit doesn't teach you any actual software skills. Instead, it describes itself as “the world’s first creative editing course”. Developed by professional editors working in the industry, it details hundreds of specific structural, journalistic and creative techniques used in documentary and entertainment television.
The tutorials, then, are a mix of high-end editing theory, footage analysis and timeline demonstration, and you’ll get 35 hours of real-world rushes (raw footage) to practise on, plus 2,000 music tracks to score with. There are also lessons on the secondary skills needed by video editors; as “psychologists, diplomats and social chameleons”.
In short, this course is not at all suitable for beginners at video editing. But for anyone working in (or close to working in) the narrative-based television found in documentaries, entertainment shows and reality TV, it could provide just the boost you need to reach the next level in your career.
- Pros: Cheap, videos can be downloaded
- Cons: Variable quality, some courses are quite short
Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at digital professionals, containing more than 80,000 courses in total. Which means that if you need to master a particular tool, you’re very likely to find a course for your needs.
There are around 100 video editing courses on the site, covering tools including Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, and Da Vinci Resolve. And you can narrow down the list further using the tabs at the top of the page, according to level, price, and language.
You don’t need to take out a subscription; you just pay for the individual courses you take. And unlike some online course providers, Udemy allows you to download its videos for offline viewing via its mobile app.
If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend checking out The Complete Video Production Bootcamp by Video School Online, in which Phil Ebener takes you through the basics of video editing, from program layout to final export, across nine hours of video training. (Note that this course is taught in Final Cut Pro 7, but if you're using another software like Premiere Pro, you'll still learn a lot from it in terms of general principles).
Overall, the quality of courses on Udemy is good, but they can vary, so it’s always worth reading the customer reviews first before you commit yourself.
- Pros: Videos can be downloaded, learning checks keep you on track
- Cons: Some courses quite short, little use for non-Adobe software
Pluralsight offers a number of online courses that will train you to use Adobe video editing software, including Premiere Pro, After Effects and Photoshop. These cover beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
The Photoshop CC Video Editing course taught by Ana Mouyis, for example, cover how to edit videos, composite, and basic motion graphics. After this short course, you should be comfortable with video editing workflow and have the skills you need to embark on your own projects.
One of the coolest features of Pluralsight is ‘learning checks’, which are short quizzes to help you check you’re understanding the material correctly. It's a small thing, but it really can be helpful in keeping your learning on track.
If you wish to download videos for offline viewing you can do so via the mobile app. And note that Pluralsight offers a 10-day free trial, so you can ‘try before you buy’.
- Pros: Can download videos, LinkedIn integration
- Cons: Academic approach may not suit, some videos feel over-long
Founded in 1995, Lynda.com is the most established and respected source of software training on the internet. Recently rebranded as LinkedIn Learning, the service gives you access to all its courses once you take out a monthly subscription. Premium members can download entire courses and individual videos on most desktop, iOS and Android devices using the app.
There are almost 200 courses to choose from when it comes to video editing, covering software including iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, and Media Composer. Because of this wide range, Lynda is worth looking at if you’re after something specific. For example, Premiere Pro Guru: Multi-Camera Video Editing by Richard Harrington is a two hour course that teaches you how to import, sync, and edit footage from multiple cameras with Premiere Pro.
The style of tutorial is a little more formal and academic than most online course providers, which may be a positive or negative depending on what you're looking for. If you want to see the kind of thing you’re getting, then just check out the free video tutorials that come with every course. You can also take out a month’s free trial that will give you access to all the courses on the platform.
One more thing: the move from Lynda.com to LinkedIn Learning is not just a name-change; there's some nice integration between the courses and LinkedIn too.
For example, if you're logged into LinkedIn, the platform now uses the data it has on you to surface training content that’s relevant to your needs. Also, when you learn new skills from taking a course, it’s super-easy to add those skills to your LinkedIn profile. Don’t worry, though: if you’re not on LinkedIn you can ignore all of that, and just focus on taking the course.
- Pros: Wide range of topics, videos can be downloaded
- Cons: Variable quality, some courses quite short
Skillshare is an online training platform where anyone can create a course and sell it. This creative free-for-all means that it’s a good place to find relatively short and punchy video lessons on niche topics, and that applies to video editing as much as anything else.
For example, if you’re a student who’s completely new to video editing, How to Vlog! Film, Edit & Upload to YouTube by Sara Dietschy is a snappy, no-nonsense guide to the basics of creating a vlog, across 32 minutes. Watch the first video, which you can access for free, and you’ll soon get the idea.
Bite-sized video courses such as this are usually less academic and more casual when compared with, say, LinkedIn Learning. But if you just want to start getting your head around stuff quickly, that might actually be preferable.
Plus, you can take out a month’s free trial first to see if it’s for you, before parting with any cash. And if you do decide to purchase, then videos are downloadable within the app for offline use.
- Pros: Live lessons, interaction with tutors
- Cons: Expensive option, only available on certain dates
Want to learn Premiere Pro? Looking for live instruction rather than pre-recorded videos? The American Graphics Institute, a publishing and training venture, is offering online classes led by live instructors. These regularly scheduled lessons range from introductory to advanced levels, and if you can get to Boston, New York or Philadelphia, there’s also the option of attending physical lessons too.
You pay per course, and it’s not cheap. But the value of having interactive classes, in which you’re able to ask questions, hear and talk with the instructor, and even share your screen, means you really do get what you pay for.
- Pros: Good quality tutorials, free taster lessons
- Cons: Only covers specific tools, some courses are quite expensive
These days, most online training for video editors focuses on Adobe software. But if you’re using Final Cut Pro, Motion, or Da Vinci Resolve, you may be better heading to Ripple Training, a source of high quality, regularly updated tutorials in said software, as well as their own tools and plugins.
Founded by experienced industry professionals Steve Martin, Jill Martin, and Mark Spencer in 2002, Ripple Training isn’t a particularly big name in the field. But their courses, which mirror the in-person classes they teach, are very good quality, and you can download the videos for offline viewing. To see what they’re about, check out the free ‘get started’ lessons at the bottom of their homepage.