How Do I Choose the Best Animation Degree?

M.C. Huguelet

If you dream of animating films, television shows, video games, or websites, you may want to complete an animation degree. In order to choose the best animation degree for you, it can be useful to consider a few key points. First of all, consider which type of animation you would like to do, and look for schools that specialize in this area. Find out whether prospective degree programs employ experienced instructors and have the facilities you need to properly learn the art of animation. Finally, think about which locations would best suit you, taking into consideration factors such as whether a school is in close proximity to an animation studio at which you might intern.

A flower drawn by an animation artist.
A flower drawn by an animation artist.

To begin your search for an animation degree program, think about what kind of animation you would eventually like to work with. Animators commonly work in film, television, video game design, and web design. If you know which type of animation you prefer, you should seek degree programs that specialize in that animation type. Perhaps you are not yet sure which area of animation you like best. If this is the case, your best bet might be a degree that exposes you to many different kinds of animation.

Some programs focus on traditional 2D animation techniques.
Some programs focus on traditional 2D animation techniques.

Animation is a highly competitive field, and an animation degree that comes from a college or design institute with an excellent reputation can give you an edge when you begin applying for jobs. To ensure that your degree has clout, find out whether the faculty members of those programs you are considering have demonstrated experience in the field of animation. In order to give yourself ample opportunity to develop your animation skills during your degree program, consider only those institutions that provide students with access to the latest animation software and equipment.

Location should be another important consideration as you choose an animation degree program. It might seem like an economically responsible decision to complete your degree at an institution that is close to your home. Before enrolling in the nearest animation degree program, however, consider the fact that the top entry-level animation jobs often go to candidates who have completed internships at well-known animation studios. From a long-term perspective, therefore, it often makes good sense to enroll in a degree program based in an institution that is close to a working studio, even if you are required to relocate. Better still, consider completing your animation degree at a college or design institute that organizes internships for its students at nearby studios.

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