I realize this question has been beat to death but I wanted an honest account of how big of a deal an animation degree is. The reason I say honest is that every animation job I have seen says they require either a degree or relevant work experience.
For not needing a degree, these applications sure are making it sound like you need one...
Also, I realize that many people have had jobs without a degree, but does that still hold water today? Maybe that was true at one point, but it is harder and harder these days to make it with just a high school education. Too many applicants, employers want to thin the herd.
My husband-to-be's father had a 100k a year tech job in the 80s with a high school education and when the company went under in the late 90s early 00s he has been forced to work at home depot now well past retirement age. No one anywhere wants to touch him without a degree. So a man intelligent enough to work high tech at 100k a year, now is only seen as good enough to be a warehouse guy. Makes me nervous.
But what also makes me nervous is that I know people who DID GRADUATE an animation school. None have a job. 80k in debt. No job. Also I am 28 and am wanting to settle down already... I recently went back to community college and my painting teacher says I need to go to CalArts because she thinks my work is of that level and that if I am "going to waste a lot of money like my friend I should go get the real deal".
My problem is the timetable. 2 years of community college then calarts is another 4 if I am even accepted? I'd be 35 before I even start my career..... if anything starts after 200k in debt LOL. (That's what I would be looking at with current tuition). At that point, what animation job realistically even could pay those loans??? None. That's what. Lol....
So what should my game plan be if I jump in the water now rather than later? Yes my work needs to be professional. I'm very aware of that (sad how many people actually need to be told that............) but should I just make a reel and jump in? Should I make my own short film and go to some film festivals and try to win some awards? Would that cover the requirement of "relevant work experience"? Is there something I can do that fulfills that relevant work experience requirement without actually having a paying gig to get my foot in the door?