Five Study Paths to Consider if You Want a Career in Animation

January 12, 2023 animation jobs

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To pursue a career in animation, you’ll generally require a bachelor’s degree in animation or a related subject. Though, it’s just as important to have a strong portfolio of work when it comes to securing a job.

There are a number of positions in animation that you could pursue once you have the necessary qualifications and a good portfolio. You could work as an animator, a concept artist, a games developer, an illustrator, or a VFX artist.

You could also work in non-direct roles, such as an advertising art director, an exhibition designer, or a production designer for TV, film, or theater. But first things first. Begin your journey toward a career in animation by considering taking one of the following five study paths.

Getting a Student Loan to Study Animation

Before we look at the different study paths you could take, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll probably need to take out a student loan to cover the cost of your course.

The two main options for student loans are federal loans and private loans from lenders like banks and credit unions. You should explore the various loan options available to find the right option for you.

Often, it can make sense to take out a private loan. For instance, with SoFi student loans, there are no hidden fees, you can get a good discount when you set up autopay, and you have a six-month grace period after graduating before you need to start paying the loan back.

1. A Bachelor’s Degree 

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in animation, you’ll typically need to hold a bachelor’s degree in animation. You can study at a brick-and-mortar college.

Alternatively, you have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in animation or a related field online, with the option of completing your degree on a part-time or full-time basis.

2. An Associate Degree

While colleges typically don’t offer associate degrees in animation, you do have the opportunity to pursue an associate degree in a relevant subject that could provide you with an entryway to a bachelor’s degree in animation.

For instance, you could study an associate degree in fine art, graphic art, or art and design. Some of those programs could include animation classes.

3. A Master’s Degree 

If you’re looking for a lucrative career in animation, you could consider completing a master’s degree after you have successfully earned your bachelor’s degree. A master’s program will teach you advanced skills in animation, and you’ll be able to focus on specific areas of interest, such as effects animation or stop-motion animation.

By completing a master’s degree, you’ll also gain the opportunity to get work experience with companies that could lead to a full-time senior role after graduation.

4. Other Certifications

There are various other certifications you could earn so that you can expand your number of job opportunities. For instance, you could gain certifications for using new animation software. 

Becoming certified in programs like Adobe Animate and Final Cut Pro X could lead to more career opportunities and a higher salary.

5. Continuing Education

It can also be useful to continue your education after you’re qualified, even if you don’t gain certificates for the skills you learn. The more skills and knowledge you gain, the more opportunities you will have.

So, consider enrolling in workshops, seminars, and online classes to focus on specialist areas, such as stop-motion animation.

Final Thoughts

Spend time looking at the areas of animation that interest you the most. Then compare different study paths to find the right course to enroll with. With the right qualifications under your belt and a strong portfolio, there’s no reason why you can’t find a lucrative position in a field of animation after you have graduated.

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