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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Animation Careers in Indiana Overview

Indiana may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of the animation industry, but The Hoosier State does offer a number of benefits for artists that would like to break into the industry without breaking the bank. For starters, Indiana is home to 109 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities, and most are very affordable. Next, many of these schools offer a variety of innovative programs for aspiring animators. Just a few include Indiana University, which offers a BA in New Media, Art, & Technology with a Creative Digital Development Concentration (video, animation, and/or mobile application development), and Ball State University, which offers a BFA with an Emphasis in Animation and an MFA in Animation. 

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Animation Careers in Massachusetts Overview

Massachusetts is one of the most popular states to film movies. The state has hosted hundreds feature films and a long list of Some of the most recent productions include Black Mass (2015), Ted 2 (2015), The Equalizer (2014), Captain Phillips (2013), The Way Way Back (2013), Grown Ups 2 (2013), The Zookeeper (2011), Moneyball (2011), The Fighter (2010) and many more. In addition to offering access to extraordinary locations throughout 351 cities and towns, the Massachusetts Film Office offers generous production tax incentives and access to an arsenal of resources to filmmakers of all kinds—including animation filmmakers. 

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Animation Careers in Oregon Overview 

Portland Oregon hosts one of the biggest animation shows in the U.S. According to the Oregonian, The Northwest Animation Festival features 174 short films from 54 countries, selected by a team of 62 international jurors, all of which will be screened over seven days at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre. The event is still growing after just five years in existence. The year before the 2014 festival, 127 films found their way to the screen, and before that, says the Oregonian, the festival took place over just two to three days. This is just one indication of how fast the animation scene in Oregon has grown over the years.

The Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television has been around since 1968. Since then, the Office has been involved in animated productions such as ParaNorman (2012), The PJs (1999-2001), and Gary & Mike (2001 and 2003), and major film productions or television series such as Wild (2014), Twilight (2008), Into the Wild (2007) Grimm (2011-Present), Elephant (2002), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2000), and of course, Portlandia (2011-Present), to name a few. 

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Animation Careers in Washington Overview

The State of Washington is home to some of the country’s coolest cities. Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Vancouver are just a few. Head to Seattle, where you will find a variety of major art venues such as Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Frye Art Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and Olympic Sculpture Park. In Tacoma, digital art studios dot the landscape along with top museums such as Tacoma Art Museum. Even smaller cities such as Bellingham—the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border, and Redmond (population 59,285) have something to offer. The Arts Commission, The Downtown Art Walk, and the Whatcom Museum are popular Bellingham attractions, while the Redmond Arts Commission features theatrical productions in the park, concerts at City Hall, and more than 100 public art displays by local and regional artists.

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Animation Careers in Oklahoma Overview

Oklahoma is home to more than 3.8 million people and the 27th and 47th largest cities in the U.S.—Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Although the state has several cities with a population of more than 100,000, the largest two offer the liveliest arts and culture scenes. Oklahoma—the state’s largest city, is home to major art museums and centers such as the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA), the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum, and City Arts Center. Tulsa—the state’s second largest city, is home to the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Cain’s Ballroom, and dozens of art museums and galleries such as Philbrook Museum of Art and Gilcrease Museum.

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Animation Careers in North Carolina Overview

North Carolina has one of the most accommodating film commissions in the nation. Before January 2015, the North Carolina Film Office offered a 25 percent film incentive to productions. Today, the commission offers a grant program that rebates productions up to 25 percent of qualified expenses/purchases caped at $9 million for video television series per season, $5 million for feature films, and $250,000 for commercials. Thanks to programs such as this, North Carolina attracts productions of all kinds—including animated productions.

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Animation Careers in Georgia Overview

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that Georgia is home to the nation’s fifth largest population of animators and multimedia artists. Georgia has also been listed as one of America’s top five states for film production since 2008, with nine productions to its credit in 2014 alone. Films such as Oscar-nominated Selma, The Homesman, Need for Speed, The Blind Side and Fast & the Furious were filmed entirely or partially in Georgia, and the state's largest city, Atlanta, is home to the 30-acre studio complex EUE/Screen Gems Studios. The state is number two in the nation for production tax incentives, and according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the state is home to more than 30,000 working professionals in the entertainment industry alone. 

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Animation Careers in New Jersey Overview

With Newark a mere 11.4 miles from New York, New Jersey is a great place for aspiring animators that would like the option to work locally and/or in New York. While New York has a lot to offer when it comes to job opportunities for animators, New Jersey has its fair share of attractions for aspiring animators. First, the state is home to Kean University, which offers a competitive Bachelor of Art (BA) in Media & Film. The school also houses the Robert Bush School of Design, which sponsors the Kean University Animation Festival. 

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