The global animation industry is estimated to be worth $259 billion U.S. dollars. By 2020, the market is expected to reach $270 billion with the U.S., Canada, Japan, China, France, Britain, Korea and Germany leading the way. According to Research and Markets, most segments in the animation industry are growing at the rate of 5% year-over-year. With so much growth in the industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment growth for animators and multimedia artists is expected to average 8% for the 2016-2026 decade.
This is higher than employment growth of all occupations and double the growth for art and design workers overall. To meet the demand, most colleges and universities across the country offer either complete programs or coursework for aspiring animators. Today, we are pleased to announce that three U.S. schools are set to launch several programs leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate in animation.
Continue reading to learn about the new animation programs at Central Michigan University, Dixie State University, and State University of New York (SUNY) Westchester Community College.
1. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University (CMU) has announced that the animation faculty has submitted the curriculum to the Department of Art and Design to become an official major. Currently, the school offers four animation courses including 2D, 3D and Beginner Animation. There are three animation faculty members: Steve Leeper, David Bierdeman, and Jeremy Catarino.
Around 40 students have expressed interest in the program since it began developing in 2017. And according to a Central Michigan Life (CML) report, those students “signed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and may be able to sign an official animation degree as early as fall 2019.”
“The biggest challenge of a brand new program is that there isn't a standard of work yet,” said Leeper. “At colleges with established programs, seniors' work is used to measure the success of the program.” But, due to the enthusiasm of students and the support the program has received, he has “good reason to believe that the program will progress quickly.”
The first graduating class for the new CMU Animation program will be in the Spring 2020, with an estimated six to eight students graduating. Per CML, “some students have decided to stay longer to receive the full four-year experience.”
Central Michigan University opened its doors on September 13, 1892 as the Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute, with classes in business, stenography and teaching. Today, the school offer more than 200 programs at the undergraduate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels to 23,335 students. CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
2. Dixie State University, St. George, Utah
The Board of Trustees at Dixie State University (DSU) has approved the addition of an Entertainment, Arts and Animation Emphasis to the school’s BA degree. The school says that the program was developed “to meet the significant student demand for such an offering.”
Dixie State University says with the addition of the Animation program and a new BS in Applied and Computational Mathematics (BS ACM) the school is on track to reach its new goal to offer 50 different baccalaureate majors by 2020. Per the St. George News, “the institution’s five-year strategic plan, Dixie 2020: Status to Stature, originally laid out a goal to offer 42 four-year degrees in that time frame.”
Per St. George News, “the baccalaureate program must receive final approval from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which is expected to occur in February, before it can be fully implemented.”
Founded in 1911, Dixie State University serves 8,350 students enrolled in 54 undergraduate programs/25 baccalaureate programs in six colleges. Dixie State University has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1945.
3. Westchester Community College, State University of New York (SUNY), Valhalla, New York
Westchester Community College has announced that it plans to launch a 3D Animation Certificate with animator, Joseph Thomas at its Peekskill Extension Center. This intensive 180-hour program is offered at an accelerated pace that can be completed in one year. Students will take three modules consisting of:
- Module I: Modeling I for Animation (30 hrs.) and Animation I (30 hrs.)
- Module II: Modeling II/Digital Sculpting for Concept and Animation (30 hrs.) and Animation II (30 hrs.)
- Module III: Animation (30 hrs.) and Demo Reel Creation and Exhibition (30 hrs.)
The exhibition, where student will display their final work, will held at The Westchester Gallery, Peekskill Extension.
Per the school, the modules will take students “through the 3D animation production pipeline and cover many facets of 3D creation. From modeling assets and characters to animating and final rendering, this program will guide students through the fundamental principles of 3D animation.” Students will work with ZBrush and Maya to produce animations and they will have the opportunity to complete a 72-hour Advanced User Experience Design Certificate to help polish the final portfolio.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the skills needed to seek positions in film, video games, commercial work, and many others.
The Animation Certificate Program will begin in Spring 2019 and classes will be held at the Center for the Digital Arts in Peekskill.
Westchester Community College was founded in 1946 as the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in White Plains. The school serves approximately 13,000 full- and part-time college credit students and around 11,000 continuing education students for a total of more than 24,000 students. More than eighty programs are offered leading to an AA, AS, AAS, or certificate. Westchester Community College is fully accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA), which accredits institutions in the State of New York.