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March 21, 20247 min read

Do I need a degree to work in the creative industries?

The expansion and evolution of the film and games industry over the twenty-first century has increased the legitimacy of a creative career. Once considered a non-traditional career path, the role of the ‘digital artist’ continues to move towards the mainstream, along with the democratisation of technology. This raises an important question for emerging artists: do you need a traditional degree to work or advance in the creative industries?

While the journey into film and games might not always demand a formal degree, there are significant benefits to pursuing higher education, especially when studying at an institution dedicated to creative technology. We delve into why obtaining a degree can contribute to your success in the industry and as an artist.


Build Routine and Structure

Studying for a degree instils good work habits. Scheduled classes and assignments bring about structure and routine, which can cultivate a strong work ethic, build vital interpersonal skills like time management and organisation, and offer a framework for creating consistent and quality art.

Consistency is key to becoming a good artist. It will help you produce better quality work (and, often, more of it!) while ensuring you can adhere to deadlines — something film and games studios enforce on almost every project.

As an online film and games education provider, CGSI not only provides you with a structured routine but also offers you the flexibility to work from home so you can better balance your other commitments as well. 


Gain a Multidisciplinary Skillset

Creativity, while vital, is not the only skill required in the creative industries. To succeed in film and games, along with creative and technical aptitude, you must learn how to sharpen your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, which will help you adapt and evolve within a highly dynamic workplace.

The good news is skills like critical thinking can be learned and honed with proper training, and formal education is a great way to develop them. 

CGSI’s bachelor's degrees and diplomas, developed by industry professionals and academics, provide you with a comprehensive education, including how to think critically and problem solve, through four unique learning streams to ensure all required skills are mastered.

CGSI's four learning streams:

  • Creative Concepts and Principles: Learn the history of the industry and relevant theory; 
  • Industry Concepts, Processes and Capabilities: Focus on interpersonal skills and business acumen;
  • Technical and Creative Processes and Practices: Build practical skills and techniques using industry tools;
  • Capstone Trimester: Spend time developing a high-quality professional portfolio along with essential job skills. 


Networking and Exposure

Higher education, whether online or in a physical building, places you within a vibrant ecosystem of creative peers and industry professionals and academics with whom you can forge meaningful and valuable connections. 

Through these connections, you become privy to opportunities you might not find outside your studies, such as gaining industry insights and inspiration from your creative instructors, engaging in discussions with your classmates that spark creativity and new ways of thinking, and collaborating with the wider community on projects that can help shape your creative trajectory.

When you enrol at CG Spectrum Institute, you gain lifetime access to our unique online community, comprised of over 4,000 students, graduates, and mentors. It's the perfect space to push your learning further, share your progress, find other artists to collaborate with, seek valuable support and advice, and network and make friends.

The community also hosts regular creative challenges and collaborative group activities, creating opportunities to participate in cross-disciplinary projects and refine your newly learned skills. Troubleshooting any technical problems is made easier with the help of dedicated online Technical Assistants located across the globe to ensure you can keep moving forward with your learning and your art.

CGSI also partners with world-class studios to ensure you build connections that count, allowing you direct access to the industry and ensuring we keep our finger on the pulse of creative and technological trends and industry needs.


Shape a Strong Professional Portfolio  

A strong portfolio is essential to break into or move up in film and games. It not only illustrates your style, range, and ability, it also demonstrates your commitment to your craft and your understanding of industry standards and trends.

A quality creative degree will ensure you dedicate time to your portfolio development with guidance, support and feedback from professional digital artists, allowing you to refine your art — to emphasise your strengths and uniqueness and address any weaknesses. An essential part of growing as an artist is being able to receive constructive criticism of your work, and creating your portfolio is a practical way to get used to this process.

The creative industries are not just about creating; they are about understanding the market, meeting client expectations, and navigating the intricacies of project management. A degree merges creativity with practicality, providing you with insights into industry trends, technological advancements, and client dynamics. Armed with this knowledge, you graduate not only as a creative but also as a strategic thinker ready to tackle real-world challenges.

CG Spectrum Institute's bachelor's degrees dedicate an entire trimester to building a high-quality portfolio that showcases your professional, artistic, and technical abilities—a crucial stepping stone in your journey toward a successful career in the competitive world of film and games. While working on your professional portfolio, you'll also learn practical job skills from experts who've worked in the industry, so you're ready to hit the ground running when you graduate.


Stand Out from the Competition

Imagine a recruiter has two equally impressive portfolios in front of them. The only real difference is that one of the applicants has a degree, and the other doesn't. Who is more likely to get the job?

The creative job market is undeniably competitive, and a degree can be what distinguishes you from other digital artists. If you graduated from a respected and recognised institution, that institution’s credibility gets passed on to you. 

A degree also signifies your commitment, discipline, and ability to persevere through a structured curriculum. Employers often view a degree as a seal of approval, showcasing your dedication to your chosen field and your willingness to undergo rigorous training, honing your craft under the guidance of seasoned professionals. 

Another thing to consider is the international nature of the film and games industry and the many career opportunities available across the globe. In many countries, a degree is often considered an entry requirement for certain professions or industries as part of your working visa. This means that in some parts of the world, you may not be eligible to work in certain roles or sectors without a degree, or it may make applying for a job more difficult, limiting your career prospects and growth. 

A degree serves as proof of your qualifications and expertise, which not only increases your chances of obtaining a visa but also makes you a more attractive candidate to potential employers since they can more easily sponsor your visa application.

CG Spectrum Institute is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), a widely recognised independent regulatory body in Australia responsible for assuring the quality and standards of higher education institutions. TEQSA accreditation bolsters our already excellent reputation and credibility as a creative industries higher education provider both nationally and internationally.



While the question of whether you need a degree to excel in the film and games industry is not definitive and depends largely on each individual, the advantages of pursuing higher education are still abundantly clear. A degree can instil structure and a strong work ethic, help you build your expertise beyond your natural skillset, assemble a network of valuable connections, enhance your portfolio, impart industry insights, increase your employability and lend credibility to your name.

It's important to note that, unlike some industries — like law or medicine — degrees are not necessary to enter the industry, and many artists have forged successful careers by studying non-accredited creative courses, like the film and games industry-led courses offered at CG Spectrum.


Study at CGSI and experience the benefits of a degree for your creative career!

Whether you want to work in FX, 3D modelling, animation, concept art, or game development, our accredited degrees will help you master your specialisation while building a well-rounded skillset that includes relevant technical, creative, theoretical, and practical skills that will not only set you up for success in the creative industries but help you stand out from the competition.




CG Spectrum Institute

CG Spectrum Insitute