I'm a completely new user in Avid and I'm currently on the tutorials from CC. I've been editing for 2 years on Sony Vegas Pro and Final Cut Pro 7. Don't get me wrong, it's a great app but I was told there's no jobs on SVP & FCP7 anymore and I need a new skill set.
Avid looks hard to use and I wonder if any new editors were having the same problems as I'm having as to adjusting to a brand new workflow...
The higher profile (and potentially higher paying) jobs are mainly Avid due its success and longevity in the Hollywood studio and worldwide broadcast markets. But to say all jobs are Avid is not true.
FCP7 still has a little life in it, but I have not come across jobs requesting Sony Vegas, but does not mean they are not out there. Depending on which part of the country, which niche of the video industry you are interested in, then you will also find a lot of Adobe Premiere. There are even some broadcast networks adding Premiere Pro to the pipeline.
So depending on where you live, where you are in your career path, and which part of the industry you want to be in, you will find different NLE's being used. In today's climate, you are better off being versed in several NLE's and it is your creative editing skills that will keep you on a job.
If you're in LA and looking to get into any type of television of television or film production, I would start with Avid, then Premiere. Start going to user groups and Avid and Adobe presentations when in the area to start the networking part of the job. You'll start your way into the business via different level of assisting in postproduction.
I agree with Michael about learning Avid and Premiere, but I would throw in other Adobe offerings, too, like Photoshop and After Effects. In many cases, it's just not about being a good editor anymore. You have to at least know the basics of compositing, and that means working with transparencies (alpha channels) and blending modes, to name a few. After Effects and Photoshop are both great "plug ins" for Avid, so much so that having a working knowledge with experience on your resume with them can definitely help. In fact, the reason Premiere is out-pacing Avid for open jobs right now is because more and more companies are using Photoshop and After Effects in a unified workflow with Premiere. The integration is just that good now.
As far as getting a job in the business goes, I think a great training ground is news. Small-to-mid market TV stations are always looking for new shooter/editors to replace those that have moved on. If you have a good eye, can handle a camera, and have a basic understanding of non-linear editing, a news operation will give you a chance to grow beyond what you know. There is no difference in editing fundamentals between editing a news package and a feature-length film. What changes revolve around the scale of the project and the need for superior organizational skills. But in either case, a cut is a cut and a clip is a clip. What gets you from one to the next is your mindset, not just your toolset.
I started in news very young (21) and have been working in broadcast TV since 1979. During that time, I've seen editing go from linear 3/4" tape-to-tape, to 1/2" BetaSP, BetaSX, and Avid. I started out cutting simple reporter packages and busting down news feeds into VO/SOTs. Then I started doing longer investigative packages (5-10 minute range), and half-hour specials, all on Avid. The skills you learn for doing those simple reporter packages migrate with you to larger, longer, and more complex projects. But no one will hand you a big project until you've sharpened your editing claws on the small ones.
So if I had any advice to offer, it would be this: learn as much as you can now to build a reel that will land you that first job which will teach you production workflows and deadlines. Nothing will get you up to speed faster than having to meet daily (or even hourly, in the case of news) deadlines. You will probably be working with seasoned pros in that first job. Pick their brains. And practice, practice, practice. Be as passionate about learning the craft as you are about working in it, and it will show both in your work and your attitude.
Hope this helps.
Canon XF-300, Canon 5DMkIII, Canon 7D MkII, Avid Media Composer 7.05, Adobe CC 2015, iMovie Pro.
[David Gillick]"Also, what job would you suggest as my first job to get to my goal for film and TV episodic editing?"
Post production PA. Get your foot in the door. And then learn Avid...take classes, so that you can then try to get a job as an Assistant Editor. Note that Assistant Editors need to know the tech side of Avid well. But mainly it's getting the relationship started...getting to know people and have them know you. So Production Assistant is that foot in the door. And it's wise to learn post from the ground up, and that's the ground.