Is a degree really needed??


next year I go to college but I can’t decide if I should go Computer Science or Digital Arts.

After Digital Arts I can get my master in Computer Science if I do an extra 2 years.

I was searching online and noticed that there aren’t a lot of jobs in Digital Arts ( atleast for animation and character design).

I’m already 2 years behind so can’t do both in Bachelor.

I also saw that your don’t earn so good as a digital artist ( not that I care about it, but the fact that jobs are hard to find makes this another factor)

So if a degree in digital arts isn’t really needed to get a job I might just go for Computer Science.

Does anyone has some tips for me?


In a nutshell: No you don’t need a degree or diplma or whatever certificate.

Try the search function, this has been discussed to death, both pro and con.


I would go the Computer Science route, as there are more opportunities in general for developers outside of the industry. As far as getting a degree, that’s the route I went and I don’t regret it.


• Bachelor’s Degree in Film, Animation, or Fine Arts recommended, though not required.

^^^Copy and pasted from pixar.

Computer science degree however is required to work in computer science related careers,the creative field doesn’t care as much.


but the advantage that a bachelor in digital arts over a bachelor computer science (in digital arts ofc), will it be very big or just a small advantage?


I would guess that the advantage of a degree in digital arts is not the degree itself, but that you will be able to build a portfolio at the same time as doing your school work. For an “artist” job, the key is the portfolio and who you know, more than the degree. So if you don’t think you will have the time or motivation to build a portfolio without the assignments/projects that come with a digital arts degree, perhaps it would be better.

That said, if you do have any interest/skill in programming, I say you should get the CS degree and then have a ton more job opportunities available to you, use your spare time to work on the portfolio, and then you can impress with a portfolio and a CS degree.


If you have the talent companies don’t care.
If you can code, but don’t have a degree companies don’t care.

If you are from a country where its citizen needs a visa for every place you still dont absouletly have to , but things would be easier if you had a degree.


As with mje11even, I have a fine arts degree and don’t regret it either. Having a degree will open many doors for you.


I’m already good with programming so I wanted to learn 3D but to get a computer science job you need a degree and for digital arts you don’t


my favorite character was posted by someone on facebook.

when I see this I start to wonder if it is even possible to learn how to make character like this on your own


You may be “good with programming” but there is more to that in a CS degree. I took three semesters of CAGD (Computer Aided Geometric Design) where it felt more like a math class than a CS class. As an example, over several classes, the professor lectured and worked out on the chalkboard all the theory and math involved in the linear interpolation, the de Casteljau algorithm for Bezier splines, and de Boor algorithm and the blossom method for NURBS. Understanding all this background makes the difference between a CS degree, and someone who knows how to write a MEL script that calls “sphere -r 10” to create a NURBS sphere.

The question you need to ask yourself is, when you see that image of the character you posted, are you passionate about the expressiveness, the composition, the detail, the artistry, etc. or do you want to know the if it’s poly/subd/nurbs geometry, the lighting params to get the specular, if it is bump/normal mapped, if the mace was really blurred in 3d or if it’s a post-production smear, etc.

And by the way, the artist who created this image did not do it “on his own”, there are tons of hours of work that developers have put into his tools and renderer that helped to produce the image, . . . but I know what you mean.


I’m really passionate about characters and animations. I always want to know how they made it


Out of curiosity, where are you considering attending college?


Kortrijk Howest. It’s the only place where you can do digital arts in Belgium. And if I do computer science Ghent


I’m not seeing a lot of CG related classes on Ghent’s website for computer science. By the way, the degree there is called a “BS in Computer Science Engineering”, and in the US, at least, that major tends to have a heavier emphasis on the hardware and circuits end than those under the title of “BS in Computer Science”. I would definitely talk to students at both schools that have similar interests as you, before making a final decision.


By the way, these are two programs that I know about that do a good job of combining the CS degree with preparation for graphics industry. Use these to compare with programs you are looking into.

Brigham Young University, BS in CS, Animation Emphasis

Texas A&M, BS in Visualization


Computer Science in Belgium has nothing with CG in it. The Digital Arts has but it’s new in Belgium and only 1 school that does it ( also the only one that has a CG degree).
I was thinking of going abroad for studying but as it costs a lot less to study in Belgium than it is in the UK or US I’m staying


Maybe look into taking an online class or two from Gnomon or other CG specific schools?

Get your feet wet. :wink:


ok, I was just looking at the site for Digital Arts again, and it looks like with the programming and the computer science classes I get in it, I’m also able to get those jobs that they really need people for and pay good.
So with that, if I don’t make it as a digital artist at a company I can still get a good job in something else I like


So now I think I’m gonna do it, but I’ll still go to the infe sessions about the other degrees