Get Your Animation Degree Online

Start a Creative Career Path Today

animator drawing cat

By Joshua Gunn

Imagine your job is to make a beard of tentacles for a pirate, give emotion to the face of a donkey, and increase the visual rush of a high-speed car chase. Does bringing imagination to life using pen, ink and computers sound like a dream come true? If so, a job in the growing field of animation might be just right for you. And this is an excellent time to start because animation is expected to have the best job growth of all graphic design occupations for the next seven years.

With an artistic bent, some technical training and good teamwork skills, you'll be well on your way to launching your animation career. Competition is tough for the best jobs, but attending an animation degree online school can help you build your technological knowledge, hone your artistic skills and give your resume a serious edge. Plus, through the process of earning your animation degree online, you will create a winning portfolio to land just the job you want.

Endless Career Possibilities

Animation is a diverse and growing field, with ample job opportunities working in website development, advertising, television, film and video game industries. Job titles for college graduates with an animation degree include:

  • 3D Artist
  • Animator
  • Cartoonist
  • Graphic Artist
  • Multimedia Artist
  • Production Artist
  • Special Effects Designer
  • Special Effects Producer
  • Storyboard Designer
  • Video / Audio Editor
  • Video Game Designer
  • Web Designer

Once you've learned how to combine the necessary computer skills with your own creative talents, the field is wide open. Online computer animation courses help give you the technical know-how necessary for this line of work, as well as helping you develop your abilities and round out your resume. Most entry-level positions in animation require at least a bachelor’s degree, and an increasing number of online animation programs also offer specific concentrations to give you a head start in your particular area of interest.

Job Prospects for Online College Grads

There are three top industries you could work in after graduating, not to mention starting your own consulting business after you've gained some industry experience. Here's a little more about what you could do in the film industry, the video game industry or the traditional and non-traditional business world.

The Film Industry

There is always a high demand for trained animators in the film industry, as hundreds of people are needed to produce each animated and special effects feature. Some animators work as storyboard artists, interpreting the script to plan the shots, or they help visualize the story and maintain continuity. Layout artists create the background for the scene, building on the storyboard to fashion the world where the animated action will take place.

Many people enter the field as "in-betweeners," often working as a team to fill in the action and transitions; if you imagine the key drawings made by the lead animators as two slices of bread, the "in-betweeners" provide the essential filling that connects them.

Big studios such as Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar and Warner Bros., employ many animators at every level, with opportunities to advance with experience and dedication.

The Video Game Industry

Challenge your brain to design successive levels of complicated video games. In the computer gaming industry, you can use your animation degree to find work as a conceptual game designer or a more hands-on game animator, often with plenty of artistic opportunity.

And sometimes games even develop into animated films, offering further creative and economic opportunities for animators. In this industry, you'll find job titles such as game-play tester, 2-D conceptual artist, 3-D character builder, 3-D object modeler, interactivity designer, background artist and more.

The Business World

In addition to the film and games industry, your animation skills also open up a wide range of job opportunities in the world of business. Whether it’s making eye-catching flash websites, creating animation-based TV ads, or designing everyday animated features for interactive media such as cell phones, computers and PDAs, many companies need the creative and technological services of someone trained in animation.

Animation Careers Start with Creativity and Vision

When choosing the right degree program for you, there are many factors to consider, including learning styles, schedule restrictions and course logistics. These days, more and more students are looking to accredited online computer animation courses and degree programs for the flexibility and unique format they offer. Many students find that online animation programs allow them to better balance their lives with animation schooling.

There are several routes to take when looking to earn a degree in animation.

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in media arts and animation, game art and design or information technology with an animation emphasis. These programs emphasize computer technology
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in animation and visual effects; these programs feature curricula slanted more towards developing creative skills, but still provide solid and essential technological training.

Animation Degree Online Courses

If you're not sure if you have the time or energy it takes to earn your bachelor's degree, or just aren't quite sure what you want to specialize in yet, some computer animation schools also offer associate's degrees and certificates in animation, visual effects and digital design. All of these degrees can be pursued via online computer animation programs.

Animation courses teach you advanced 2-D and 3-D animation principles and offer specialized training with relevant design software and digital equipment. Online animation courses can include work with programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, 3D Studio Max, Macromedia Flash and other digital software, giving you technological familiarity and confidence when you enter the job market.

In addition to technical aptitude, strong communication skills and teamwork are also crucial in the animation field. Online study offers a unique opportunity to develop these assets, since the courses are based on ongoing communication between professors and students, and often feature team projects requiring creative and technological collaboration. Animation artwork and projects are submitted and reviewed online, further encouraging the use of technologies that are key to this particular medium and career.