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College Major of the Week: A Degree in Animation

December 11, 2009 By: Category: College Major Info, Degree in Animation

Do you still love Saturday morning cartoons? Do you have to see every animated movie that comes to the big screen? Are you fascinated with special effects? If so, you might want to consider a degree in animation, but how do you know if it’s the right career path for you? Here are a few quick facts to help you decide.

animation_torley.jpg

Photo by Torley

What is a degree in animation?
A degree in animation allows you to participate in the production of feature films, filmed television programs, made-for-television movies, music videos, and commercials. A degree dealing with films also introduces you to postproduction services to the motion picture industry, such as editing, film and tape transfers, titling and subtitling, credits, closed captioning, computer-produced graphics, and animation and special effects.
 
What do people with a degree in animation do?
Animators work primarily in motion picture and video industries, advertising, and computer systems design services. They draw by hand and use computers to create the series of pictures that form the animated images or special effects seen in movies, television programs, and computer games. Some draw storyboards for television commercials, movies, and animated features. Storyboards present television commercials in a series of scenes similar to a comic strip and allow an advertising agency to evaluate commercials proposed by advertising companies. Storyboards also serve as guides to placing actors and cameras on the television or motion picture set and to other production details. Many multi-media artists model objects in three dimensions by computer and work with programmers to make those images move.

Future prospects for those with a degree in animation:
Demand for multimedia artists and animators will increase as consumers continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and 3D animated movies. Demand for multimedia artists and animators will increase as consumers continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and 3D animated movies. Competition for jobs is expected to be keen for both salaried and freelance jobs in all specialties because the number of people with creative ability and an interest in this career is expected to continue to exceed the number of available openings. Despite the competition, employers and individual clients are always on the lookout for talented and creative artists.

Average salaries for someone with a degree in animation:
Median annual earnings of salaried multi-media artists and animators were $51,350, not including the earnings of the self-employed. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,980 and $70,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,720. Median annual earnings were $57,310 in motion picture and video industries and $48,860 in advertising and related services.

What should you consider when thinking about a degree in animation?
Artists usually develop their skills through a bachelor’s degree program or other postsecondary training in art or design. Although formal schooling is not strictly required for craft and fine artists, it is very difficult to become skilled enough to make a living without some training. Art directors usually have years of work experience and generally need at least a bachelor’s degree. Due to the level of technical expertise demanded, multimedia artists and animators generally also need a bachelor’s degree.

Now do you think this might be the right career for you? Take the myUsearch college match quiz to find the right degree in animation.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2009 – http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos092.htm