Careers in Computer Animation

computer animation

Careers in computer animation are growing as both computers and technology become more and more important in everyday business. If you're an artist at heart who loves learning the latest computer technology, you might want to investigate all the potential careers in computer animation.

Popular Careers in Computer Animation

Video Game Animation

Video games have come a long way since the original Atari system. Animators no longer think Pong is the ultimate gaming experience. They now create entire worlds, developing the scenery, the layout of the land and all of the moving creatures, whether man or beast. It takes a lot of computer knowledge to take the design element from concept to reality, so a solid background in computer animation and computer science is required when developing video games.

Movies and Television

Computer animation plays a big part in everything from from Disney and Pixar productions to Saturday morning cartoons. Movie and television animation doesn't end there, though. As special effects become more and more necessary for big-budget films, animators are playing a major role in creating fantasy worlds for films like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings.


When you turn on the television, almost every commercial includes computer animation of some sort. Sometimes they simply involve animated logos or promotions, but sometimes entire commercials use computer animation. If you like crisp designs and enjoy the thought of selling a service or product, advertising just might be the field for you to enter.


Web-based animation comes in a variety of forms. Many websites feature Flash videos that include animations, while other sites include animated graphics or advertisements. Especially as Internet-based television and YouTube-style videos become more popular, designing animated advertisements for the web will continue to be a flourishing field.

Job Titles

Job titles will vary based on the specific company doing the hiring, but you can expect to see titles like the following:

  • Web graphic designer
  • Flash animator
  • Multimedia designer
  • Gaming designer
  • 2D animator
  • 3D animator
  • Storyboard artist
  • Layout artist
  • Computer animator
  • Computer animation specialist
  • Animation designer

Pursuing a Computer Animation Career

If you're intrigued by the idea of marrying your love of computers with your love of art, then pursuing a two or four year degree in graphics, computer animation or design could put you in the perfect position to start your new career.

It can be a little difficult to find a school that offers a focus in both computers and art, so you may have to do a little creative schooling. For instance, you could pursue a major in computer science with a minor in art or graphic design, or you could do the reverse, majoring in art or graphics and minoring in computer science. If you want a school that offers both options in a single degree, consider one of the following universities:

  • Full Sail University
  • The Art Institutes
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Digital Media Arts College
  • ITT Technical Institute

Career Outlook

You can expect the careers in computer animation to continue to grow, especially as video games and web-based advertising increase in popularity. One area of computer animation that will likely become more prevalent in the coming years is cell phone and hand-held device technology. Items like smart phones, tablet PCs and ebook readers are becoming commonplace household items, so computer animators need to be able to design advertisements and media that can be played on these smaller screens.

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Careers in Computer Animation