The field of animation is growing and there are numerous training programs available. Some of these programs are crash courses and according to conventional wisdom should be avoided by anyone seriously interested in a career in animation. These type courses are not considered quality training in the mainstream industry and will be a waste of your money. There are numerous programs at colleges and art schools that are considered quality programs, but even among college programs there are some that are not very good. Choosing the best animation colleges that will lead to a career in animation will require doing some research.
You should be ready to visit any school you are considering and be ready to evaluate their program. The technology in the field changes rapidly so you need to make sure the program is committed to providing the latest techniques. If not you may find yourself being trained on outmoded technology. Another concern is the “test reel” When you start job interviews you will be expected to have a test reel. The test real is a five minute program you put together to show off your talents. It is very important and it should be completed while you are a student and be ready for use when you are interviewing. You should make sure the school provides its students an opportunity to make the test reel using their cutting edge equipment. If they are not aware of this important issue or they don’t care then you have a red flag that it is not a cutting edge animation college and you should look at other schools.
Find out which companies interview and hire from the school. That is which companies come to the school to recruit new talent and what percent of graduates go on to work in the field. Also, you should interview current and former students to find out how satisfied they are with the program and what they say they have gotten out of it. Check out the faculty, you should be-able to find biographical information about the faculty on the schools web-site and/or brochures. Determine if they have any significant accomplishments. Find out if they have worked in the industry or if they consult on projects in the industry and if they conduct research on new techniques. If the faculty is well known in the field you should be-able to find this out. This is a sign that the program is cutting edge and that the faculty should be able to help you with internships and connections in the industry. The quality of the faculty will help you determine the best animation colleges.
Again the field is growing and constantly changing. The school that you attend will be very important to finding that first job and launching you career. Also, it will be very expensive, so it is important to do your research for the best program if you are serious about a career in animation. You may even want to contact people in the field at some top companies and find out from them which are the best animation colleges.