An animation degree develops creative and technical skills suitable for film and many other creative and digital careers
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Advertising art director
- Exhibition designer
- Film director
- Film/video editor
- Game artist
- Multimedia specialist
- Music producer
- Production designer, theatre/television/film
- Sound engineer
- Special effects technician
- Television production coordinator
- Television/film/video producer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Animation is a competitive area but work experience can help to develop your technical skills, build your network, and give you access to further opportunities. Any experience you can gain in the animation industry is extremely useful, as is broader film or TV experience, working in roles such as a runner.
You could also look for opportunities which allow you to develop complementary skills, such as working with others, working independently and managing your own time.
Consider opportunities within student media, promotion or fundraising. Or offer to create promotional shorts or animations for the website of a charity or not-for-profit organisation.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
As a film animator, you could work for one of the large commercial studios, such as Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, or Aardman, or for a studio producing films or TV projects (including kids' TV). Alternatively, you could set up on your own or work on a freelance basis.
Initiatives, such as Dare Academy - hosted by Abertay University, provide funding for start-up projects and organisations (like the BFI and Creative Scotland) on a project-by-project basis. Many animators find employment in the computer games industry, either for large games developers (Sony, EA, Ubisoft) or for smaller independent studios.
As well as creating animated films, animators also work in post-production and VFX (visual effects), where employers include Lucasfilm, Framestore, MPC, Rushes, and The Mill. This may involve the addition or removal of sets, dressing and actors, or working on aspects such as colour correction. Motion graphics (the moving image work that introduces programmes and films) and pre-visualisation (where digital models allow directors to see what something might look like, without the expense of building sets or physical models) are other popular areas of work.
Your skills as an animator are also in demand in other areas, such as computer systems design, software publishing, advertising, marketing, data visualisation (for example for models of election results), insurance (for the simulation and investigation of accident scenes), and medical, architectural or crime scene animation.
Skills for your CV
Studying an animation degree gives you the opportunity to acquire expertise in a range of technical skills, including drawing and model-making. It's usually possible to choose modules relating to the type of animation you wish to work in or you may opt to study a more general combination.
You'll also learn to work well individually and collaboratively with others, developing useful transferable skills, such as:
- managing your own time and projects
- attention to detail
- problem solving
- interpersonal and teamworking skills.
If you have an undergraduate degree in animation, it's not usually necessary to embark on further study in this area. However, some students choose to, usually in the form of an MFA degree, in order to deepen their expertise in animation. Further study may also help you to develop and define your own style.
ScreenSkills has details of training courses suitable for both new entrants and professionals. Some funding may be available through the animation skills fund or in the form of a bursary. Find out more at ScreenSkills - Education and training.
What do animation graduates do?
A quarter (25%) of animation graduates become graphic designers, while 16% become artists (both commercial and non-commercial). Sales and retail assistant roles are the third most popular occupation. A small number of graduates become arts officers, producers and directors.
|Working and studying||6.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||49.4|
|Retail, catering and bar staff||23.2|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||3.7|
|Marketing, PR and sales||3.6|
Find out what other animation graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.