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/video editor
- Multimedia specialist
- 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 and you'll need to have a showreel that presents your creations to potential employers. It can also be useful even if you plan to work outside of animation as it showcases your skills and knowledge, so think about adding to this throughout your degree.
You may have the opportunity to enter competitions, take part in festivals and exhibit your work at degree shows while at university. All of this can go towards your showreel as well as provide some work experience that 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.
Stay on the look out for any opportunity that could give you some useful work experience, such as being involved in 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.
Employers vary depending on the area in which you choose to use your animation degree.
Within film animation, you could work for:
- large commercial studios, e.g. Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Aardman
- a studio producing films or TV projects (including kids' TV)
- yourself, by setting up your own studio or by working on a freelance basis.
You could also use your animation skills in other areas of film and TV including:
- post-production and VFX (visual effects) for creative studios and production companies such as Lucasfilm, Framestore, MPC Film and The Mill
- motion graphics - the moving image work that introduces programmes and films
- pre-visualisation - where digital models allow directors to see what something might look like, without the expense of building sets or physical models.
Your skills as an animator are also in demand in other areas, such as:
- computer systems design
- software publishing
- advertising and marketing
- data visualisation (for example for models of election results)
- insurance (for the simulation and investigation of accident scenes)
- 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 wish to work within animation a first degree is usually sufficient, however some graduates do go on to a postgraduate course, most typically a Masters in Fine Art, to deepen their expertise in animation. Further study may help you to develop and define your own style but do your research to make sure it's the right choice for you.
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?
27% of animation graduates are IT professionals, while 16% work as web and multimedia design professionals. IT technician, artistic, literary and media occupations and teaching professional are also among the ten most frequently reported roles held by animation graduates.
|Working and studying
|Type of work
|Arts, design and media
|Retail, catering and customer service
|Clerical, secretarial and administrative
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.