Aspiring animators and multimedia artists choosing an academic program often wonder if there is such a thing as an associate degree in animation and, if so, if they’re worth getting. Although animators are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree, associate degrees are still definitely worth getting. There are many benefits to earning an associate degree in animation with the main benefit being what the student learns about animation.
What is an Associate Degree in Animation?
An associate degree in animation is a two-year program that introduces the student to animation and prepares them for entry-level work in this area. Animation associate degree programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools. Some schools also offer an associate degree in animation programs through distance learning.
Students generally need to complete about 60 credit hours to earn an associate degree. They begin putting their artistic ideas on paper with hand drawing and advance their training to use computer programs like CAD (computer-aided design), Illustrator, Quicktime, Premier and Adobe Photoshop.
Course topics include fundamentals of design, color theory, image editing, web animation, computer animation, digital media, interactive design and game development. Prior to earning the associate degree, the student is generally required to complete an internship and create a portfolio of his or her work.
Benefits of an Associate Degree in Animation
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that multimedia artists and animators should have a bachelor’s degree, there are many benefits to earning an associate degree in animation. Some of the benefits are:
- Joining the workforce quicker: By earning an associate degree in animation, the candidate can join the workforce after two years rather than four.
- More economical: Earning an associate degree requires half the credits and half the time as a bachelor’s degree, so students will spend a lot less money on an associate degree.
- Experience: Graduates of an associate degree have the skills and knowledge to work in animation and gain the valuable work experience necessary for advanced positions.
- Portfolio preparation: The associate degree program helps students create a portfolio of their work and designs, and a portfolio is one of the main requirements for being hired for almost any animator position.
- Stepping stone for advanced studies: The associate in animation degree can act as a stepping-stone if the individual wishes to gain some work experience and then pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Career Outlook for Animators
The job growth for multimedia artists and animators is positive. While many companies are hiring animators and artists who work overseas, these workers are still in demand to keep up with the number of consumers demanding bigger and better video games, 3D movies and similar media special effects.
Animators will also be in demand to do computer graphics on phones and electronic devices. Animators and multimedia artists should see an employment growth of four percent between 2018 and 2028 according to the BLS. As of May 2018, these talented professionals earned wages ranging from $40,870 to $124,310. While animators with a bachelor’s degree may have access to some of the better jobs, those with an associate degree experience are also qualified for many positions in this field.
Individuals who dream of a career in animation can begin their careers sooner rather than later by earning an associate degree in animation. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to earn this degree. Upon graduation, the individual will be all set to hit the job market and begin making a name for him or herself in the world of animation.