Digital Art and Animation Insider Do I Need a Degree to Work in Entertainment Design? By Jennifer Martin | September 14, 2021 Do you dream of working on your own projects after being inspired by one of your existing favorites? A career in entertainment design is an exciting prospect. Turning that inspiration and passion into a finished work of art is a breathtaking experience. That sensation alone makes it worth pursuing a career in Entertainment Design. If you are interested in the abundant opportunities present in the entrainment industry, then read on to learn the best method of getting your foot in the door. Do I Need a Degree to Work in Entertainment Design? Technically, you don’t need a degree to break into the industry. Natural talents could theoretically compile a portfolio that wows potential employers. Glowing credentials in the form of past work will get the job done. However, most people require a lot of practice and training to acquire professional-grade skills. Even those with an organic proclivity to art still need to hone their craft through trial and error. The best way to acquire the training and practice needed is to attend a creative arts college. Here is a breakdown of the two roads that lay before you. The Self-Taught Route Though you can find just about anything on the Internet, this route requires that you sift through all the conflicting information and subpar tutorials online to find the right methodologies and practices. You can indeed teach yourself through online study, but you have no way of verifying the credentials of the creators. The person posting YouTube videos could easily impart many bad habits and unacceptable workflows. Any professional studio that thinks about hiring you will have to help you unlearn your bad habits before they can bring you on board. Since it takes large teams to make modern pieces of entertainment, everyone needs to be on the same page. The Formal Education Route Enrolling in a formal education program ensures the accuracy of the information you receive. Creative arts colleges also have many connections within the industry. These inside sources give the college insider information on any new trends within the industry. The school can then adjust the curriculum to ensure students are prepared for the modern entertainment landscape when they graduate. Considering the speed at which the industry changes, you will need up-to-date information if you hope to succeed. Many online tutorials may have accurately reflected the landscape five years ago, but these sources become quickly outdated in just a few short months. Benefits of Attending an Entertainment Design Program There are many benefits to attending an entertainment design program. Each of these advantages add up over time and dramatically increase your chances of being successful. Not only does a degree help you obtain a job, but you will also have the necessary skills and knowledge to impress your employers. Landing a job doesn’t mean much if you can’t keep it long term. Here are some of the most important benefits entertainment design students enjoy. Benefit #1: Complete Education Curriculum One of the best parts about being an entertainment designer is the flexibility to work in multiple fields. Animators can become game designers and directors can become writers. It is very common for creators to switch jobs after they have a few successful projects under their belt. Attending an entertainment design curriculum lets you dabble in many disciplines. Even if your dream is to create 3D models, you get the basic foundation needed to become an animator. Many skills transfer nicely between mediums. This makes it easy for creative arts colleges to bundle many concepts in one comprehensive degree program. Benefit #2: Industry Experienced Instructors A huge boon for anyone looking to become an entertainment designer is the ability to talk with instructors that have already succeeded in their profession. Instructors at creative arts colleges have some published works in their portfolios. You can rest assured that your teachers will know what they are talking about. You will have ample opportunities to ask them any questions you have. They will also impart wisdom on subjects you wouldn’t have even considered. Savvy instructors are one of the finest resources available to an aspiring artist. Benefit #3: Opportunity to Try New Things It can be difficult for the average person to obtain the professional-grade hardware and software used to create modern masterpieces. Space can also be an issue, especially considering the size of certain machines or the room needed to film scenes. A creative arts campus has everything you will need to learn entertainment design, so that you can gain experience working with the top tools in the industry. This will help you immensely when building a career. You can also make a great first impression on the studio that hires you, because you already know the basics of the programs they use. You don’t need to be an expert, as studios fully expect to train entry-level recruits. Benefit #4: Break Things, Make Mistakes and Innovate Making mistakes in college is less destructive than making mistakes in the real-world. If a concept or project flops, studios and investors can lose millions of dollars. It is far better to try experimental ideas or make mistakes in the quarantined environment of college. Your reputation as a creator isn’t on the line, and the great thing about trying new things with no worries means you occasionally stumble across a winning idea. That wacky thing you want to try out just might be a hit. The ability to innovate with low risk is the dream of many veteran artists who have been forced to work only on mainstream projects. Benefit #5: Step into a Position of Entry-Level Entertainment Design The courses available at creative arts colleges are designed to prepare you for an initial role in the industry. You will learn what you need to do to start working at a studio. Instructors will also divulge how to get noticed in the first place. Building a portfolio replaces the need for a resume in most entertainment design positions. Not only will you learn how to build an eye-catching portfolio website, but you will also learn how to fill it with content that will impress potential employers. It is a package that provides everything you need to get your foot in the door with an entry-level position in entertainment design. Benefit #6: Networking Opportunities during Classes and Externships Networking is a crucial component for success in the entertainment design industry. The entertainment industry features a community of artists who scratch each other’s backs. Sometimes, a lot can depend upon who you know and everyone you meet on campus is a potential job lead down the line. Befriending as many people as possible is key. The idea is not to patronize them, but rather establish common ground through shared interests. The nice thing about a creative arts college is everyone has a shared love of media. Even the shyest of people can find friends to discuss their favorite things. In addition to the camaraderie and fun, each friend bolsters your chances of having a successful career further down the line. Benefit #7: Career Services Many creative arts colleges combine their knowledge of the industry and their database of students to find ideal job matches. Career services can help you after you graduate by pairing you up with the jobs that suit your individual talents and interests. This is far better than what a traditional employment services firm would offer because all the jobs offered by the college’s career services department will be relevant to the field you want to break into. Take advantage of the career services that a creative arts college has to offer. Final Thoughts Overall, anyone with aspirations to be an entertainment designer should seriously consider obtaining a degree. The industry handsomely rewards anyone with the skills and work ethic to make it happen. The easiest and most effective way of obtaining these skills is to enroll in a formal entertainment design program. Degree programs are a wonderful resource and now is the time to start the rest of your career off on the right foot. Ready to get a degree and take the entertainment industry by storm? You can guide an entertainment design project from the page to the screen as you conquer every step to make a winning product. Layering color maps and shading will form the foundation of your entertainment and graphic design skills as you work toward texturing and digital painting. You’ll apply 3D techniques to drawings and renderings as you develop your own personal style in entertainment design projects. You’ll also combine traditional and digital media in elements for design and marketing, video games or animations. Entertainment Design degree program students have access to uniquely modern facilities hard to find at other digital art and animation schools, including access to virtual reality and augmented reality equipment and a rendering manager built just for University of Silicon Valley. University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.