What Can You Do With a Design Degree with an Emphasis in Animation?

animation design degree student working on a project

Are you a creative person who also enjoys learning new technical skills? An animation career could be the perfect choice for you. Multimedia artists and animators are in demand in a variety of fields. While many professional animators work in the entertainment industry, others find opportunities at advertising agencies, marketing agencies, social media, television stations and even in the medical field. These are just some of the fields that graduates with skills in animation may find work in.

Advertising and Marketing

Companies and other organizations are relying on animation and video like never before to raise brand awareness and sell products and services. An animation professional working in the advertising and marketing field strives to present the brand in a positive light. These professionals may work on a variety of animation design types, including:

  • Sports animations: These are moving logos and emblems used throughout professional sporting events, in addition to the scoreboard graphics.
  • Consumer advertisements: The concept, illustrations and movement of images and type that encourage you to buy a product or service are of interest to these types of ads.
  • Bumper ads: This advertisement is a non-skippable video ad lasting six seconds that is placed before a video the user has clicked to view.
  • Explainer videos: This is a video that explains a company’s product or service.
  • Product demonstrations: Demonstrations are tutorials explaining how a particular product works and how it is used.
  • Branded entertainment: This content includes videos that are primarily entertaining, yet provide subtle brand messaging.
  • Launch videos: These introduce a brand-new product or service.
  • Recruitment videos: These encourage job applicants to consider positions at the company.

An animation professional may also work on mainstream TV commercials. These days, it’s common for marketing agencies to include computer-generated images (CGI) in place of or even alongside real-life actors. As an example, think of the GEICO gecko. Animators are responsible for creating these images and making them interact seamlessly with the real-life background and actors.

Movies and TV

When you think about the role of 2D and 3D animation in the film industry, the first thing to pop into your mind is likely animated cartoons. While animators certainly do find work with Pixar and similar companies, there are plenty of other opportunities that may not immediately come to mind. For example, 3D animators were responsible for creating the dragons in the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” as well as the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park.”

A skilled animator can make even a long-extinct animal or a fictitious beast seem lifelike using CGI technology. When working on movies and TV shows, animators must pay careful attention to the lighting and the movement of their creations. In addition, they must carefully time which elements appear on the screen at various points in the story. While they are working on the main elements of a scene, such as a dragon, for example, animators must also consider how the main elements interact with the background.

Video Games and App Design

The video gaming industry has experienced incredible growth during the past few decades. This upward trend in growth means that there are plenty of robust job opportunities available in the video game and app design fields. It takes the close collaboration of many different professionals to produce a high-quality video game, including animation experts.

Many modern gamers expect their video game characters to look, move and interact just like real-life figures, whether they are animated in 2D or 3D. The scenery must be equally realistic. It’s the job of animators to create life-like backgrounds and characters that the consumer will enjoy.


Although animation design has long been associated with the entertainment industry, it’s becoming increasingly popular in the education sector. Elementary, secondary and postsecondary education institutions are increasingly moving to online models of learning. Even schools that don’t emphasize remote learning are increasingly integrating technology into the classroom, providing new and exciting opportunities for animators who are interested in helping people learn.

An animator may work on learning modules or tutorials intended to teach students key concepts. The students then benefit from having access to high-quality visual aids designed to support the learning process. Another way that an animation professional can work in education is by teaching the principles and skills, such as the fundamentals of design, drawing for animation and 3D modeling, to aspiring animators.

Scientific Services

If you’re looking for another way to use your 3D animation skills while making a positive difference in the world, consider scientific services. The medical industry, for instance, needs animators to develop imaging solutions. In this field, animators may also contribute to medical education videos designed to train healthcare professionals.

In addition, some animators work closely with forensic anthropologists to digitally reconstruct the faces of deceased individuals. Other professionals may also digitally “age” photos of missing children to generate images that reflect the children’s current age.

If you’re ready to pursue an exciting career in animation, consider attending Grand Canyon University. Our College of Fine Arts and Production is pleased to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree program, which guides students in learning the cutting-edge technical skills that employers are looking for. Click on the Request Info button to learn more about our performing and digital arts programs and begin your academic journey at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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