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

Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Private Game Design School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.


11. University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California

Established in 1880, the University of Southern California is home to 43,000 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate programs, 300-plus graduate programs, and more than 150 minors across 18 colleges and schools. USC Games offers four degree programs and four minors for aspiring game designers. School of Cinematic Arts degrees include a BA in Interactive Entertainment and an MFA in Interactive Media. Viterbi School of Engineering degrees include a BS in Computer Science (Games) and an MS in Computer Science with a Specialization in Game Development. Minors include Game Animation, Game Audio, Game Design, and Game Entrepreneurism.

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Top 100 Most Influential

After eight years of writing about video games, I wanted to take the pulse of the game industry. I organized this list with the criteria for influence being: how long since a studio’s last release, how many releases they had in 2013 and 2014 combined, how many copies were sold, how many people still play their games today, what do they have coming out in the near future, how unique are their games, and how much competition from other studios do they have?

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Washington

Washington is home to 85 Title IV degree-granting institutions. A Title IV school offers a number of benefits for students, but one of the biggest advantages is access to a variety of federal financial aid programs. To become a Title IV school, an institution must meet five requirements. They must (1) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) sign a participation agreement with the Department, (3) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (4) grant an associate's degree or higher, and (5) be in business for at least two years.

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North Carolina

North Carolina is home to 139 Title IV degree-granting institutions. These schools grant an associate's degree or higher, the have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they have signed a participation agreement with the Department,  they have been in business for at least two years, and they offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. By meeting these requirements (established by the U.S. Department of Education), North Carolina’s 139 Title IV schools are eligible for Title IV Federal Financial Aid Programs. This makes them accessible to students that may need help meeting tuition costs. 

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New York

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), New York is home to 304 Title IV degree-granting institutions. A Title IV school has accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, it has signed a participation agreement with the Department, it has been in business for at least two years, and it offers an associate's degree or higher. A Title IV school also offers a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Once a school meets these requirements, it becomes eligible for federal financial aid programs, which makes them more accessible to students with financial need.

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New Orleans Art Scene

Imaginative, experimental, and hip—these are just a few words that describe New Orleans’ unique art scene. The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau says that the New Orleans art scene has become one of the most vital and innovative in the nation. Visitors and locals alike can find out why by engaging in the city's monthly art openings, visiting visual art and performance venues such as the Contemporary Art Center (CAC), or touring the more than 100 galleries in the city. The fun part is, you can get to just about any art gallery in the city by cable car!

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The New York City Art Scene

The State of New York has the second highest population of animators in the U.S. More than 90 percent of these artists live in New York City. Although Los Angeles holds the crown for producing and housing more animators than any other city, New York’s animation scene sees itself as a viable alternative to the L.A., rather than living in its shadow. Instead of relying on large studios to produce the bulk of the art in NYC, the industry taps into its hearty network of local freelancers and prolific indie production studios, with the goal of creating works with varied (and unique) points of view

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Seattle Art Scene

Seattle is the cultural center of the Northwest. Ballet, opera, theater, visual art, and music are as much a part of Seattle as coffee—and everyone loves to indulge. The art scene here is different from other cities mainly because Seattle truly embraces experimental and other alternative forms art. Sure, the city has its fair share of purists, but according to the Seattle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, for every traditionalist, there’s a non-traditionalist. What this means is—anything goes here, and that’s good news for animators. 

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Washington DC Art Scene

The Washington DC art scene is one of the most progressive in the nation. Although small in comparison to other cities—DC is home to less than 700,000 people, the District is home to around 28,140 salaried professionals working in the art, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations. Washington DC is also home to some of the country’s most celebrated art museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Corcoran Gallery of Art at Corcoran College of Art + Design.

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Creating cool characters with enough charisma to captivate audiences of all ages is just one of the amazing talents today's top animators possess. They also have remarkable storytelling ability, superior tech savvy, incredible illustration skills, and much more. Sure, a good number of today's high-level animators were actually born with these enviable talents, but most successful animators will agree that a degree program helped them refine their skills and learn the ins and outs of the animation industry. And that’s just the beginning.

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