2011 MTV Video Music Awards - Nicki MinajEvery year at the MTV Video Music Awards, there’s a moment that gets people talking. Last year my favorite was seeing Beyoncé open up her sequined jacket to reveal her baby bump, flashing a big ol’ smile about her baby on the way.

At this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live on Sept. 6, I’m expecting some crazy outfits, awesome performances, and more “They did that?” or “What in the world?” moments, and I have my DVR ready to hit pause and rewind. After all, it just may teach me about a cool new career…

As Brit boy band One Direction is set to perform on the VMAs for the first time, the VMAs could provide some career direction for you, too. The demand is strong for music videos these days, whether they debut on YouTube or another website, sell on iTunes or have a world-premiere on MTV.

Check out these cool careers in videos, and if you have your associate or bachelor’s degree, it could help you stand out among the competition in this rockin’ profession.

Video Directors – Follow in the footsteps of folks like Dave Meyers, who has directed more than 200 music industry stars, from Justin Bieber to Rihanna to Pink to Britney Spears to Aerosmith. He’s won 11 MTV Video Music Awards, including for his work on Katy Perry’s “Firework” video. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in film production and philosophy.

So what do directors do? They handle everything from choosing members of the cast to directing the work of the cast and crew, during rehearsals, during the shoot and afterward. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median annual wage of directors was $68,440 in May 2010, and most directors have a bachelor’s degree.

Camera Operators – Serve as a key person in capturing the emotional or just plain crazy images that connect the video to the song. A bachelor’s degree can help you land work as a camera operator, a position that earns $40,390 in median annual pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll need to be prepared to work at all hours, just like with other video jobs, but can capture the images of singers and celebrities and help make video magic.

Hair stylist – Just think about Nicky Minaj’s wacky styles and you’ll see how the work of a hair stylist is another essential element of music videos. Celebrity hairstylist Terrence Davison, who went to beauty school in Atlanta, shared these comments with MTV about Minaj’s “Super Bass” video:

“I didn’t even know which direction we were going with her hair. I just knew she want fun colors. It was so many wigs on set anyway, which is all the time. I mean, I don’t care if it’s one look. You’re going to see 15 wigs sitting there for her to choose one wig for one shot. That’s just how Nicki is, she’s a perfectionist. She loves what she does.”

Video Editors – The work of video editing has its own category in the VMAs (Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” won the 2011 award). You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree and experience working as an assistant to a film editor to move up into this all-important position, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its data shows that the media annual wage of video editors was $50,930 in May 2010. Video editors take the images that camera operators capture and create the final product, working with the video director and producer.

Enjoy the VMAs… who knows, it could spur you onto a new career direction!

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Evans / PR Photos)

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