Online Animation Degrees
Animation is a versatile career that can incorporate computer science, graphic design, visual arts and film making. Whether enhancing blockbuster movies with spectacular effects or bringing action-packed adventure to video games, an animator needs a combination of artistic talent and technical skills.
The Department of Labor reports that training in computer graphics and software is critical for many jobs in the visual arts. Modern degree programs in animation often stress digital techniques and skills. Online degrees in animation may make sense for students, since growing animation careers often require familiarity with technology such as computer-generated imagery (CGI) and other computer-based animation programs.
Virtual studies leading to animation degrees can offer familiarity with digital and online tools. The Department of Labor's O*Net website reports that animators need a knowledge of computers and electronics, and that interacting with computers is a key activity for this job. This educational and career path is suited for someone who identifies as both an artist and a technician and who embodies a creative spirit and a love of digital innovation.
Online programs in animation are available at many levels, including certificates as well as associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. Most of these programs offer varying levels of coursework in the following subjects:
- Visual effects
- 3-D modeling
- Computer modeling
- Compositing and rendering
Programs vary in length and in curriculum. Choosing a degree program is largely dependent upon professional goals and previous work experience or education. Here are some of the usual features of various programs:
- Certificate or diploma programs are often for working animators who want to pick up new skills or learn a new technology. These courses can provide a way to get a taste of animation or build a foundation for pursuing a degree.
- Associate degree programs require a high school diploma. Programs generally last two years, or the credit equivalent of two years. Courses offer the fundamentals of animation and related technologies. This degree is a requirement for many entry-level animation positions.
- Bachelor's degree programs require a high school diploma. Programs are usually four years, or the credit equivalent of four years. Professional curricula are often designed to simulate industry conditions. It may be possible to pursue a more in-depth focus on one or more aspects of animation.
- Master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree. Programs offer specialization in a particular aspect of animation, as well as preparation for potential advanced or senior-level positions.
- Doctoral programs may require a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, depending on the program. This is usually a career path for those who wish to teach at the university level.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators often work in the motion picture and video industries, advertising, and computer systems design services. These artists may draw images by hand or create graphics using computers. The BLS reports that jobs should grow by 14 percent in the 2008-2018 decade, with competition for hiring, but greater opportunities than for other artistic occupations such as fine artists. BLS growth projections take into account the demand for realistic visual effects and increased use in 3-D animated movies and other areas.
- Salary: Median annual wage: $58,510 (BLS, 2010)
- Key industries: Motion picture and video industries, advertising, public relations, software publishing
- Geographic hubs: Los Angeles, San Francisco, the New York metropolitan area, Seattle.
Online Degree Programs in Animation
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- MSTech in Graphic Information Technology
- BA in Film and Media Studies
Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Work toward your degree online with Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design.
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
- B.A. in Digital Film with an Emphasis in Production