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How do i start a career in cartoons???

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How do i start a career in cartoons???

I am planning on returning to school to finish a degree in illustration and animation. But what does an animation house really look for in an employee? Any advice for breaking into the cartoon industry would be appriciated. Thank you for your time. 



This is real simple: what an animation house looks for in an employee is someone that can work to the level they require. That is to say, work that is just like what the studio is already producing.
That's the yardstick to measure things by.

If you can create work that is at the studio's level, chances are good you'll "break in" and  be hired.

If you cannot create work to that standard, do not even bother applying--you'll be wasting their time and yours.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Thank you for your thoughtful

Thank you for your thoughtful response! I was concerned more about, what sort of back ground they look for. Like education wise... do they require a degree? If so, what degree would work best? Also, what would be a good school? 

What is a degree going to do

What is a degree going to do for you if you cannot draw??

All a degree is is a document that says you completed a curriculum to the academic standards of the institution that issued the degree.
Those standards are NOT common amongst all schools because there is no set agreed standard, especially with regards to animation.
Talent is a subjective thing to an observer, and a student can complete a programme to an academic standard, be awarded a degree and STILL lack adequate drawing skills to gain work at a studio.

So, to that end, the abilities that YOU demonstrate are the yardstick by which your level of talent is measured. You do not necessarily need schooling to develop those abilities to a professional level---it can help, but it's not 100% essential.  All of the materials and educational resources that you would use in school can be found outside of schooling, such as on the Internet.

As for "good" schools?  What do you want to do?  You want to work in the industry?  Then look for schools that are turning out grads that get work in the industry.

Now, EVERY school says they do just that.
It's part of their marketing hook, because if they said otherwise, what would be the point of spending ten's of thousands of dollars in tuition just to fart around pointlessly for a couple of years?
So don't take the school's word for it.
Instead, ask to confer with the school's ALUMNI--the graduates that have completed the programmes and gone off to work in their field.  Specify that you want to contact the ANIMATION  alumni, because the other programmes for other fields have no bearing on your objectives.
If the school will not put you in touch with their alumni---they either don't have any, or they don't offer a programme that teaches their grads enough to land work in their chosen field. If that is the case........then it's not a school you want to attend.

A studio is going to measure your worth for hiring by one thing: your portfolio. 
Your portfolio should demonstrate that you can provide work at the level the studio does, and that you show an understanding of all the technical aspects of the job involved.  
A degree from school X or University Y only says that you completed their programmes. If the school is one that the studio has never heard of......does that devalue the degree?  Some people seem to think so.......but then, if the grad from that lesser-known school CAN demonstrate they can do the work ably and professionally, does the school's reputation matter?

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)