One of the major choices, an intending student of an animation school would have to make in India is deciding to go for either a diploma in animation or a degree in animation. Understanding the difference between the two would go a long way in helping a student craft out his future in the animation industry. Both Animation programs are almost the same, but the little difference in them turns out to be bigger than the whole face value name difference.
FIRST THE SIMILARITIES
In most animation school in India and indeed most parts of the world, the curriculum of both diploma and degree in animation are the same. In almost all cases, Diploma and Degree animation students have the same tutors, the same course content, use the same labs and even make similar show reels. In most schools, diploma and degree animation students are often combined in classes and so the difference between such programs tend to lose any significance in the eyes of the student when approached at face value.
However, there is a marked difference between a degree in animation and a diploma and most of it centers on the opportunities after study.
During study, one major difference would be the duration of the course. A diploma in Animation for example would range between 12 to as high as 27 months for advanced diplomas but a degree would take 2 sessions for a master degree in animation and 3 sessions for a bachelor’s degree. With a typical session lasting four to five months. This gives more time to the degree student to get ahead of the animation learning curve.
STRUCTURE OF COURSE CONTENT AND FLEXIBILITY
Animation Degrees are either enrolled for in universities or in institutes affiliated to universities while animation diplomas are handled mainly by private animation institutes. The affiliation of the animation degree implies that exams would be written, team projects would be scored , assignments would be registered and attendance would be mandatory. Theoretical exams would be written either online or on paper and would be graded by the university from which the animation degree is expected to be issued. As a result, the flexibility of the course content to suit the student would invariably be lessened as fixed topics and modules would be covered in preparation for the final exams. This also eliminates the specialization in a particular aspect based on interest as all aspects would be given equal class time because the final grades would be an average of grades gotten from all aspects of animation.
Of course, the fees are usually different with Diplomas costing between INR 50,000 to 3 LACS and most animation degrees starting at 2.5 LACS upwards , even as high as 5 LACS, depending on the institutes and their affiliated universities. The flexibility of fee payment is also better for the diploma while most degree courses tend to have fixed deadline dates for specific installment amount which is usually during the beginning of a new semester.
The working opportunity of animators is to a large percentage dependent on their developed skills, show reel, awareness , exposure and placement assistance . However, an animation degree makes a student employable by a federal or state educational institution such as a university. It’s also important for participations in national agencies and also furthering your education or getting overseas recognition.
In summary, whatever you choose to do, ensure that the most important thing of all , your skills are constantly developed.
Let us know what you think about the issue of degree or diploma as it relates to the field of animation, in India and the world.