Bachelor's and master's degree programs in digital animation will prepare students for employment in various industries involving animation, such as video games, film and television. Students of a bachelor's degree program in animation can gain technical competencies while taking courses in storytelling, 3-D animation and project management. Special projects and internships may be required.
Prerequisites for a bachelor's degree program are a high school diploma, letters of recommendation, evidence of academic achievement, and minimum required ACT or SAT scores.
Students might advance their level of knowledge as well as their technical and aesthetic skills in a master's degree program. Expanded animation and advanced animation studio are some areas of emphasis. Bachelor's degrees, letters of recommendation, the minimum required scores on the GRE entrance test are required for admission. A portfolio of the student's work may also be required.
Bachelor's Degree in Digital Animation
A formal education in digital animation can lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Digital Animation. While a Bachelor of Science degree program focuses on the technical skills and computer savvy needed to work professionally, a Bachelor of Arts degree program also looks at digital animation from a cinematic and historical perspective. Both programs stress in-depth practical experience in the form of projects and internships.
The goal of a bachelor's degree program is to prepare students for entry-level employment in the digital animation industry or further studies at the graduate level. Students gain direct experience and take lecture courses in the following topics:
- Introduction to digital animation
- Design principles in digital animation
- 3-D animation
- Project management
Master's Degree in Digital Animation
Students holding a bachelor's degree can work towards a Master of Fine Arts or Master of Arts in Digital Animation. Programs continue to build upon principles of animation and storytelling developed at the bachelor's level and stress mastery of technical skills and design principles. Programs focus on creativity, design aesthetic, and technical proficiency.
The goal of a master's degree program is to prepare students for professional careers in digital animation. Graduate programs allow students the opportunity to study digital animation exclusively. Programs stress strengthening of technical skills, as well as further acquisition of knowledge provided by advanced lectures in the following topics:
- Animation and business
- Advanced animation production
- Advanced animation studio
- Current issues in digital animation
- Expanded animation
Popular Career Options
Students studying digital animation gravitate towards careers in digital animation and production in the film, video, television and video game industries. Some popular career options are:
- Digital production assistant
- Freelance animator
- Video game animator
- Special effects production assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
A report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 4% growth in employment for multimedia artists and animators for the years 2018 through 2028 (www.bls.gov). The 2018 median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $72,520.
Students can apply to master's degree programs in digital animation. Although employment is possible with a bachelor's degree, advanced degrees are becoming more popular. A graduate degree program allows for further practice and study in digital animation and often leads to increased employment possibilities and a potentially higher annual salary.
A master's degree is often deemed sufficient for employment and is the terminal degree program for this particular field of study. Due to advancing computer technology, students and working professionals are encouraged to stay informed of and practiced in current computer programs being used in the industry.
Digital animation programs equip students with technical skills and knowledge in animation through extensive courses, projects, and internships to prepare them for employment in different industries involving animation, film, and television. Popular careers include freelance animator, digital production assistant, and multimedia artist.