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Major Overview: Motion Graphics Program

Majors Overview April 20, 2015

Get information about degree programs in motion graphics and their coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Motion Graphics Program

Students enrolled in a motion graphics major learn about computer-based animation, design, art, and digital media. The focus of the majority of degree programs are on the use of artistic concepts and computers. Bachelor’s or master’s holders are preferred by potential employers, although some may hire associate’s degree holders.

Educational prerequisites vary by the level of study; while admission criteria in some programs may require incoming students to hold a high school diploma, applicants to some programs may have to complete previous graphics courses before they are admitted to the program.

Some programs may include motion graphics as an area of concentration within a computer graphics, digital media, or digital art program.

Video and animated projects are required to be completed by applicants to degree programs at any level. Such projects may be assembled by the students into a portfolio that potential employers may see.

Programs often give potential students opportunities of producing and showcasing their work for selected audiences, such as entertainment events, business meetings, and conventions. Some programs may offer internships in professional studios and other related settings.

Associate’s Programs in Digital Media and Motion Graphics

The associate’s degree program provides concentrations for enrolled students to choose, including creating, editing, or directing graphics for digital media. The degree program includes art or technologically concentrated certificates offered by many programs; these include a certificate in digital video production or webcast technology.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Coursework

The necessary fundamentals of digital art, movie production, and graphic production software are within the curricula of motion graphics associate’s degree programs. Internship opportunities are often available in the coursework. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Animation software
•Video production
•Digital image production
•Understanding the Web
•Artistic expression

Career Choices

With an associate’s degree, graduates may seek entry-level careers in motion graphics that deal with DVD, digital, or Web media. They may seek positions such as:

•Digital motion technician
•Animated graphics designer
•Web graphics developer

Bachelor’s Programs in Digital Art and Design

A range of digital art mediums is often available in digital art and design bachelor’s programs. Students enrolled in some programs are offered concentrations in a specific area of focus, such as Web-based media, film and video, art and design, or animated graphics.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting standardized test scores (such as from the SAT or ACT). Students seeking enrollment would also benefit from being familiar with computers.

Coursework

Bachelor’s-level coursework includes the use of artistic concepts and software in the creation of projects to showcase students’ knowledge. Students are encouraged to create a portfolio they can use in graduate school applications and at job interviews. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Computer illustration
•Creating digital art
•Web design
•Digital art history
•3-D graphic manipulation

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek entry-level positions in interactive graphics, website design, film and game production, and digital design fields. They may seek job titles such as:

•Special effects artist
•Animator
•Video game designer

Master’s Programs in Computer Graphics and Animation

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program can study the practice and theory behind the creation of computer-based animation and graphics. Program graduates can seek careers in research or motion graphic fields. The final thesis includes both photographic items and video to make the computer graphics and animation master’s degree different from others. Some programs require a prerequisite graphics course to give students the background needed for the program.

Coursework

Coursework includes classes in animation, business, art, research procedures, and computer software and programming. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Modeling and animation
•Fine arts and writing
•Animation research
•Programming in C++
•Storyboarding

Job and Wage Outlook

An average job growth of seven percent has been predicted for graphic designers over the 2012 – 2022 decade owing to the preference for digital media over print media (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $44,150; average annual wages varied by industry and individuals’ seniority and ranged from around $26,250 at the lower end to $77,490 at the higher.

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