Master's Degree in 2D Animation: Career Options for Graduates with a Master's Degree in 2D Animation

Published Nov 06, 2009

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Animation is the creation of moving pictures using the sequencing of consecutive images, or frames, to simulate motion. The movement of 24 frames per second fools the human eye into believing the image it's watching is actually moving. Master's degrees in 2D animation are offered at few schools throughout the country; students can also learn about 2D animation in art, graphic design or general animation degrees. These degrees are often Master of Fine Arts degrees and take two years to complete.

Earning a Master's Degree in 2D Animation

Before students complete their master's degree in 2D animation or a related field, such as animation and visual effects or animation and digital design, they must attain a certain set of skills required of all visual artists. These skills include the ability to create and develop stories, communicate effectively and draw well. Students also learn about animation, modeling, storyboarding, layout, compositing and color theory.

Requirements for a master's degree program include a final project and thesis. Students create a portfolio of their 2D animation work, which they can bring to job interviews and show potential employers. The work showcased in the portfolio should demonstrate an understanding of artistic influences and trends, technical and aesthetic principles and the ability to adapt to a changing artistic environment.

Career Options for 2D Animation Master's Degree Graduates

Many graduates of 2D animation master's degrees work as cartoonists, multi-media artists and animators. These jobs often lead to work in motion picture, advertising and computer systems design services industries. Artists draw images by hand and manipulate the image with computers. The image can then be animated for movies, television or the Internet.

Artists often work in fine art or commercial art studios in office buildings and warehouses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60% of artists were self-employed in 2008. Artists working in the U.S. has about 222,000 jobs in 2008. Employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow 12% through 2018, and artists with experience in multimedia or digital design will see more opportunities than those who work in traditional mediums. Many animation jobs have moved overseas over the past several years, and animators will have to compete globally for many of the jobs in their industry. Median annual earnings of multi-media artists was $56,330 in 2008, with the top ten percent earning more than $100,000, according to the BLS.

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