Students eager to enter the field of animation will need to know the degree needed to become an animator. Animators bring drawings, whether hand-drawn or digitally created, to life for film, television and video game productions. It is a competitive field, so the right degree from a good program can be instrumental in helping students land a job after graduation.
Some schools offer programs specifically in animation. This is the degree aspiring animators usually choose to earn because it is specific to their profession. These degrees can be offered from traditional universities or vocational art schools that offer specific programs in animation. Both types have advantages, such as vocational schools giving a comprehensive, specific education on one topic and traditional programs offering general education courses and a little more variety. Animation degrees often have courses in film, which other options might not have but is an important area of knowledge for students studying animation. Students will need to evaluate each program carefully and decide the one that meets their needs, finances and preferences best.
This degree is also useful for student animators who want to do animation work in different mediums, from digital effects to web animation to traditional hand-drawn animation. Multimedia art degree programs often allow students to specialize in a specific kind of art, including animation, making this a solid option for a degree needed to become an animator. Computer science courses are often taught in these programs in addition to art skills due to digital art’s reliance on technology. Students who aren’t quite sure what type of art they want to specialize in might decide to pursue a degree in this subject as well. This degree is a good option for animators who want to work on video games in particular, as concept art and models in addition to final animations are heavily used in that industry.
A general art degree is also a strong possibility for aspiring animators. This degree is a good option for students who want to pursue a more general degree in the arts that provides them greater career flexibility down the road. Students may decide they no longer want to be an animator or be unable to enter the field to their satisfaction. Having a general degree gives a student more options in the future while still providing them with a solid educational foundation for being an animator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many animators enter their field with an art degree.
Landing a job as an animator will likely require additional qualifications in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Certifications in various animation software are useful, which are usually awarded by the software manufacturers themselves. Aspiring animators are also advised to begin creating a portfolio of their work while still in school. This provides employers a strong idea of an animator’s style and ability. It is usually necessary to have one to land a job, whether full-time or a contract position, in the creative industries. Students also need to practice and self-study on their own to improve their existing abilities and gain new ones.
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Working in animation is a great career that does usually require a degree to get in the door. Students should plan on obtaining a degree needed to become an animator to enjoy a successful career in this field.