Careers in Animation: Articles on Employment Trends, Salary Trends, Types of Jobs & Education/Training Requirements

Top 50 Game Design and Development Schools

In preparing our inaugural list of the top schools in the US for aspiring gaming professionals, we considered over 100 schools in the US that offered programs geared towards game design and/or development. Our goal with this list is to give students access to ample information so they can make informed decisions about the schools they choose to attend and the programs they pursue. 

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ohn C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts

The University of Southern California has earned its spot among the nation’s most esteemed institutions of higher learning. Among its many venerable departments, its School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) has nurtured and inspired generations of film makers, animators, directors and entrepreneurs for 85 years. Not surprisingly, it attracts a who’s who list of faculty, guest lecturers and generous endowments while drawing in students from around the world to California’s golden coast. 

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The Sight of Stars

The Animation Career Review interviews list has grown quite large over the years as we’ve talked with over a hundred industry professionals, but none like the one we’re about to share with you! Today we bring you probably the youngest artist we’ve ever interviewed! Devon Manney is in his first year of college at USC School of Cinematic Arts, and has already completed an animated short film!

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Kickstarter is full of extravagant claims and hyperbole, but when Toonocalypse promises that it’s “one of the most unique alien invasion movies ever made” it absolutely delivers when you scroll through its funding page. It’s an apocalypse tale that’s as big as Cloverfield but with the cartoon injected art style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In all of my years in the art industry I’ve never seen a hybrid art project quite like this. Fans of big action movies will enjoy it and fans of old point-and-click adventure cartoon games like Toonstruck will be obsessed with it.

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Animation is one of most magnetic and highly competitive career fields on the planet. It takes a tremendous amount of talent, a dogged desire to succeed, and an ample amount of education and experience to get your foot in the door. It also takes more than just a modicum of luck. On the education front, yes—it really does matter, so we thought it would be interesting to see where this year’s Oscar Nominees for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short Film decided to hone their craft before entering the wild world of animation.

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West

Our 2013 list of the Top 20 Animation and Game Design Schools on the West Coast. 

For the record, we define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho. 

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Norco College

In the southern California county of Riverside sits a 2-year Game Development program like few others, earning considerable attention from industry and universities alike. Norco College’s Game Development department offers an A.S. of Game Art which doesn’t miss a beat, focusing on techniques seldom explored in 2-year programs elsewhere. The high caliber of work produced by students is testament to the program’s emphasis on fundamentals and its close collaboration with industry advisors and working faculty to develop and iterate the curriculum. Though capable of breaking into their careers immediately, many graduates choose to further their studies at premier 4-year institutions.

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Edinboro University

Edinboro University may be situated in the rural northwestern corner of Pennsylvania but graduates of its animation program can be found practicing the craft near and far- from the world’s largest studios to avant-garde experimental shops alike.

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Loyola Marymount University

Overlooking the Pacific from the bluffs of Los Angeles sits Loyola Marymount University, a gem in animation education that we’re taking a closer look at today.

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Virginia State University

Virginia State University is one of the only HBCU-designated universities (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) offering an animation program. That’s a big deal for many reasons, not least of which is because animation relies on the backgrounds, experiences and creative voices of a diverse group of artists. The vision for developing the Animation BFA at VSU was thanks to numerous individuals, including a band of dedicated students (many of whom graduate this year) and one man who wouldn’t let them down.

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