In addition to growing opportunities a degree in animation can lead to careers in the broader creative and digital industries. Find out what you can do
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
- Multimedia specialist
- 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. Work experience can help to develop your technical skillset, build your network, and give access to further opportunities. Gaining experience in the animation industry will be extremely useful, as will broader film or TV experience (e.g. roles such as runner).
You could also look for opportunities which allow you to develop complementary skills, such as working with others, particularly on creative projects (activities such as student media, promotion or fundraising). Voluntary experience for charities or not-for-profit organisations (e.g. creating promotional shorts or animations for their websites) can also give you the chance to build up your own animation experience and technical expertise.
Opportunities which allow you to demonstrate a capacity for working independently and for managing your own time and projects will also be useful.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
If you decide to be an animator working on films, then you could work for one of the large commercial studios, such as Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, or Aardman. There are also a range of smaller studios who might work on films or TV projects (including kids' TV), or you could set up on your own or work on a freelance basis.
There are initiatives to provide funding for start-up projects (e.g. Dare To Be Digital), or organisations such as the BFI or Creative Scotland provide funding on a project-by-project basis. Many animators find employment in the computer games industry, again 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 (virtual effects), where employers include Lucasfilm, Framestore, MPC, Rushes, and The Mill. This might involve the addition or removal of sets, dressing and actors, or working on aspects such as colour correction. Other areas include motion graphics (the moving image work that introduces programmes and films), or pre-visualisation (where digital models allow directors to see what something might look like, without the expense of building sets or physical models).
Apart from the more obvious film, TV and games routes, animators' skills are in demand in a range of other industries, such as computer systems design, software publishing, advertising, 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 animation allows you to acquire expertise in a range of technical skills related to the type of animation you work in, whether these are in drawing, model-making or various digital skills (or a combination of the three). These skills, particularly the IT skills, could be useful in a variety of jobs beyond animation.
Because of the balance of individual and collaborative work, students also 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 is not normally necessary to embark on further study in this area. However, some students undertake this (usually in the form of an MFA degree) in order to deepen their expertise in animation. Further study gives you the opportunity to develop and define your own style, and can also provide valuable opportunities for networking or gaining work experience.
Alternatively, as an animation graduate, you may choose to continue your education in order to gain expertise in a related area if you have decided not to pursue a career in animation itself.
What do animation graduates do?
As you might expect, the most common sector for animation graduates to work in - accounting for almost half - is arts, design and media. A quarter of animation graduates in employment in the UK were working as artists six moths after graduation and a further 16% were working as either commercial artists or graphic designers.
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|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||52.4|
|Retail, catering and bar work||24.8|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||3|
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.