All of my friends in the digital media field are making GREAT money.
They all love their jobs and work in creative environments where they
can dress casual, make their cubes look like castles, and have free
However, this field is EXTREMELY competitive. You have to be an
excellent student and really become an expert at your work to get
taken seriously. That being said, I know very few people in my major
that did not get a job in their field. They were scooped up very
I got a call from a friend last week that was complaining to me about
3 offers from Sony, Pixar, and Dreamworks. (oh the pain! to have such
You may want to bring up how 3D technology is now being used in the
medical field to simulate surgery demonstrations or animated medical
illustrations. These skills are VERY valuable, and are extremely
limited at this time.
Many companies are now requesting technical drawings to give product
demonstrations or online animated instruction manuals. What about
using CAD for an architectural firm? Engineers use CAD daily to do
their work. Is that not in some aspect digital art?
You can make a lot of money in web media as well. That uses both sides
of the brain mixing technical if you like programming with design.
The following information is based on search assignements in the year 2002.
Artists/Animators - There is still a shortage on the market of
experienced 3D animators. Top grads from programs like Ringling and
Vancouver are still getting offers in the $50-$60K range. Of course,
that is for the top talent. There are more bad demo reels out there
than there are fish in the sea (a little hyperbole never hurt anyone).
Lead artists with a hit console title to their credit are entertaining
offers in the low six figures. There are a lot of console projects in
development that are screaming for talent.
Programmers - Pressure to get out launch titles for the X-Box forced
up the price of all C++ game programmers. Entry level coders with 3D
skills are being paid in $45-$55K range. At the high end of the
market, lead developers are being paid $150-$250K to work on high
profile console titles. The slowing economy is having no visible
effect on the salaries being offered to experienced game programmers.
Project Managers/Producers - A strong development manager with a track
record of working with outside development teams is being paid
$80-$100K. An executive producer with a track record of managing
multiple projects is being paid $100-$130K.
Marketing - DotCom inflation was driving up this market and it is now
almost in total collapse. Manager with strong retail channel
experience who were getting $90-$120K are now looking at $60-$80K
while managers with internet skills are getting unemployment checks. A
Director of Marketing with a strong Internet background was being paid
in the $200-$300K range and is now lucky to have a job. Channel
marketing skils and strong retail contacts are now being valued again.
This is 5 years old and I know the salaries have gone up from there.