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Top 10 Best Online Animation Degrees 2024

If you’re intrigued about breaking into the animation industry and pursuing a career in gaming, movies, or television, then you might want to consider earning an online animation degree.

Completing the requirements for a bachelor’s in computer animation online can help give you a strategic advantage over talented people who have no formal training.

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You can also differentiate yourself from competitors and position yourself to earn more in an industry that has many exciting opportunities.

Online Animation Degrees

There are a number of accredited universities that offer animation degrees online, including both online bachelor’s and online masters in animation degrees. Two specific specializations that might interest you include computer animation and game design.

Select the degree specialization that most interests you to learn the nitty-gritty about what it’s about, what courses you’ll need to take, and what career paths you can explore.

  • Computer Animation
  • Game Design

Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunities for growth, a lot of different job prospects, and plenty of job security.

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Computer Animation

Enrolling in an online computer animation program can help you learn the skills needed to enter any of a number of career areas. You can expect courses to focus on areas such as web design, 3D modeling, and graphic imaging.

When looking for a suitable program, ensure that it offers a field study or internship component where you can gain real-world experience. After you’ve completed the requirements to earn your degree, you may be able to find jobs as an animator, computer programmer, graphic designer, and more.

Game Design

Does the possibility of applying your skills to the gaming space pique your interests at all? You won’t lack for options if you’d like to study online and gain the skills you need to work in the thriving gaming space.

One course you’ll probably take is 3D design and modeling, which is especially relevant if you’d like to design video games. This class teaches how to create animated 3D designs. You can also find opportunities in the art director, mathematical modeler, forensic animator, and advertising artist spaces.

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Computer Animation Careers & Salaries

When you earn your online undergraduate degree in animation from an accredited institution of higher learning, it can open up a world of opportunities for your career.

With your degree, your portfolio of work, your internship experience, you can demonstrate to employers that you have the skills needed to hit the ground running. Some specific career paths that you may take include video game designer, storyboard artist, and forensic animation.

  • Video Game Designer: Game designers typically work as part of a team to design and create games. According to research firm Statista, the mobile game segment of the gaming industry in North America last year was a whopping 10 billion. In the role of a video game designer, you may have responsibilities like creating characters, animating, writing code with different programming languages, and more. You could eventually move on to managing video game projects, ensuring games are made within budget, and ensuring team members achieve deliverables.
  • Storyboard Artist: If you’re interested in getting an online animation degree but don’t really fancy working on video games, there are other options. As a storyboard artist, you may work on visual illustrations to outline a production master plan for television programs, movies, and commercials. Storyboard artists create visual representations for the director before any filming takes place. The storyboard can recommend camera angles, props, color schemes, and lighting.
  • Forensic Animation: Forensic animation involves using full-motion computer graphics to reenact events like automobile collisions. This is critical where there are questions about who was at fault in a vehicle accident, where criminal activity results in injury or death, or where there is a mishap like the collapse of a parking garage.
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There are many job opportunities available if you earn an online animation degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the field include:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Applications Software Developer $110,140
Art Director $97,270
Multimedia Artist or Animator $77,700
Digital Designer $77,200
Producer or Director $76,400
Special Effects Artist in Advertising $73,820
Film and Video Editor $67,250
Cartoonist $65,800
Sound Engineering Technician $53,520
Graphic Artist $53,380
Illustrator $52,340

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can command a respectable salary even in an entry level capacity. Its occupational handbook, for instance, notes that the median pay for special effects artists and animators is $77,700 annually or $37.36 per hour.

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Typical entry-level education for a job in the field was an undergraduate degree, and the job outlook for the next ten years is 4%.

Computer Animation Curriculum & Courses

When you pursue an animation BA online, much like with an online multimedia design degree program, you can expect to take a lot of different courses designed to provide you with the fundamentals. You’ll build upon these skills – and add new ones – over the course of your studies. Here’s a look at some of the most common courses you’ll likely need to take:

  • 3D Modeling and Animation: This course teaches the ins and outs of a computer graphics method for creating 3D digital images of surfaces or objects.
  • Audio and Editing Techniques: If you want to make the most out of your animations, you’ll want to skillfully incorporate sound. So this course is designed to teach the fundamentals of audio and editing skills.
  • Introduction to Digital Imaging: This course teaches the basics of programs like Adobe Photoshop. By the time you’ve completed the course, you should be able to properly use tools like filters, special effects, and channels as well as to assess images to figure out what corrections or changes should be implemented.
  • Background Design and Layout: This course teaches how to create background layouts for animations.
  • Character Rigging: Otherwise known as skeletal animation, character rigging is a technique performed by using software to build the bone structure of an animation. This course can also teach you how to use this technique to operate a 3D model.
  • Web Design: This course focuses on the principles of proper website design and website architecture.
  • 3D Computer Lighting: This course discusses the various tools and strategies that can be employed to simulate light in a 3D environment.
  • Introduction to Animation Concepts: This course teaches about facial impressions with 2D and 3D models.
  • Body Mechanics and Locomotion: This course discusses body mechanics. By understanding the principles of body motion, you produce more realistic animations.
  • Programming Languages: Some of the most common programming languages for games include C++, CSS3, and Java.
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Different schools have different courses, but you can be reasonably certain that all the aforementioned courses will be part of your curriculum in some way or another.

Admission Requirements

While an online undergraduate degree in animation can be your ticket to a successful career, you’ll have to meet certain basic admission requirements before being accepted into the program in the first place.

  • Application, high school transcripts, and letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement that covers personal accomplishments, scholastic interests, and career objectives
  • Portfolio or artwork or animation
  • Many universities require that applicants to undergraduate programs have a minimum GAP of between 2.0 to 3.0.

This is just a small look at some admission requirements that many schools have in place.

Accreditation

When selecting the right program for your needs and career objectives, don’t forget about the importance of accreditation. Regional accreditation from a recognized accrediting body is critical and should not be overlooked.

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The reason this is so important is that earning a degree from an unaccredited university or from an “accredited” university whose accreditation does not come from a legitimate accrediting body means that prospective employers may not recognize your degree as legitimate.

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An accredited program is one that meets specific quality standards and will be more recognized by employers.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Might you need financial assistance in order to pursue your education? Fortunately, there are options available to you.

One option is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to apply for the financial aid you need to pursue your education. You can also apply for state aid. If you don’t qualify for federal or state student loans, you can apply for bank loans or private company loans.

Another option is to seek out scholarships, grants, and bursaries – sources of funding that you won’t have to pay back. It’s a good idea to apply for as many sources of free funding as you can so that you can cut down on, if not entirely eliminate, the amount of debt you have to take on.

Don’t Miss Out TODAY!

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