The creative and technical skills developed in an animation degree open up career possibilities in film and a range of other creative and digital roles
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
- 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 skill set, build your network, and give you access to further opportunities. Gaining relevant experience in the animation industry will be extremely useful, as will 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 studio, or work on a freelance basis.
Initiatives, such as Dare To Be Digital, provide funding for start-up projects and organisations such as the BFI and Creative Scotland provide funding 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.
An animator's skills 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
During your animation studies, you'll acquire expertise in a range of technical skills relating to the type of animation you work in. This could be drawing, model-making or various digital skills, or you could study a combination of all three.
These skills, particularly the IT skills, could be useful in a variety of jobs beyond animation. Also, because of the balance of individual and collaborative work, you'll develop broader skills that are useful in a range of contexts. These include:
- managing your own time and projects
- attention to detail
- 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 large proportion of animation graduates (32%) become artists. Sales and retail assistant roles are the second most popular occupation entered. A small number of graduates also go into graphic design.
Comparatively few go on to further study, reflecting the fact that an animation degree already contains specialist elements and further study is not usually necessary to embark on a career in the industry.
|Working and studying||2.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||56.7|
|Retail, catering and bar work||17.2|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||3.5|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.