Atlanta’s studios and creative firms include prominently placed Georgia State alumni, and so in addition to the Atlanta Campus’ downtown location, students in arts and media programs are in proximity to career-launching resources and networks.
Arts and media jobs don’t always require a specific educational credential, because hiring decisions are dominated by a review of your experience and artistic portfolio. CMII will connect students to artistic creation and the creative economy.
- From the start of your degree affiliation with CMII, we will strategize with you so you can build an impressive record of achievement that will give you an edge in competitive markets.
- Our programs will connect you to the business of media making, so you will know how to protect and build your artistic intellectual property and acquire confidence as you navigate the world of trademarks and gig contracts.
Here are steps you can take to enhance your career readiness while a Georgia State student:
- Build an internship into your degree program.
- Take advantage of free and open workshops to build your artistic and technical competencies.
- Build an artistic portfolio showcasing your talent and experience.
The prospects for careers connecting to virtual and augmented reality technologies seem bright, given the popularity of new headset technologies and platforms enabling any mobile device to power a virtual reality (VR) experience. Many technology companies are heavily invested in its success, including Google, Samsung and Facebook. A recent study by the market researchers at IDC predicts consumer spending on VR and augmented reality (AR) products and services will reach $11 billion in 2017 and eventually reach $215 billion by 2021. The highest growth is predicted to occur in the United States. The technology is growing in sophistication, and VR innovators promise soon to deliver experiences that are truly interactive, such as in games where multiple players live in the same virtual space and see it from different perspectives.
Factors to consider as you explore career options connected to VR technologies.
- The problems to be addressed in VR may be challenges you can tackle. A hunger for more engaging VR experiences and technological issues with optics, sensors and displays are likely to be fixed by well educated and technically sophisticated graduates.
- To train in VR technologies, whether or not a job at a VR company is waiting, is to prepare for a wide range of growing career paths. VR content creation is often done on game software platforms and the skills one acquires to put together immersive experiences overlap with the skills sought in related fields, including game design, animation, interactive and social media development, visual effects and traditional film and television work.
Georgia State students can connect to the film and TV production industry in many ways. Some students find ways to work as extras on set. It’s not especially helpful as career training, but the experience is interesting and a useful introduction to the realities of work on a sound stage. The film production sequence in the film major (which is coordinated not by CMII but by the School of Film, Media, and Theatre in the College of the Arts) provides pathways for students interested in developing skills in production (including lighting design and digital editing) or their interest in genres that include documentary film. And the journalism major, coordinated by the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers a production-centered collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting.
A limited number of Georgia State students connect each year with the training programs of the Georgia Film Academy (a CMII-sponsored workforce study helped persuade state legislators to start the academy). The Georgia State major in film is the oldest and largest in the University System of Georgia. Georgia State alums work in nearly every regional studio.
CMII supplements these by offering advanced technology training experiences.
- VR production pipeline, game design and programming and coming classes in aerial and drone photography help students deepen their skills and strengthen their portfolio.
- Workshops and panel discussions connect students to the industry.
- Events the institute sponsors or co-sponsors with the Rialto Center for the Arts, the School of Film, Media and Theatre, Cinefest and student organizations put Georgia State students into contact with the region’s industry mentors.
- In fall 2017, the institute is set to announce a group of artist-in-residence appointments that will enlist some of the most accomplished figures in the Atlanta production scene.
Students interested in joining the film industry should consider doing an internship in the senior year.
Connect with CMII faculty with extensive filmmaking experience:
Sheldon Schiffer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpful sources of information about film industry careers in Georgia:
- Connecting to Atlanta film jobs (ChooseATL)
- Connecting to Georgia casting calls (Georgia Economic Development Office)
- Georgia Film Academy
General advice about film career planning:
Game design degree programs offer career pathways into social media, game development, programming and other highly sought after jobs. Game designers play an active role in the industry and connect to work that includes the organization of game levels, animation, art and character design. Later in their careers, they may also connect to project and team management. Many point to significant investments in virtual and other immersive entertainment technologies as a good sign for continuing demand for games over time.
A B.A. or B.S. degree is typically all that is required for entry-level positions, which can start with quality assurance jobs or, in smaller startups, with more significant programming and design duties. Some enter the industry with majors in game design, while others move into early jobs based on computer science training.
Factors to consider when exploring a game design educational trajectory.
- While Georgia is quickly building the game development sector, about 75 percent of jobs in the industry are in California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas and Washington.
- Many game startups fail, and within six months the average game start-up has gone out of business. This fact is offset, to a large extent, by a constant level of new venture churn.
Jobs in TV can seem glamorous, but the hours are long and entry-level pay can be low. Given competition for jobs, students with a high degree of perseverance and drive are most likely to succeed. And over the course of a career, it’s not uncommon their jobs will frequently change, requiring talented workers to relocate.
Jobs include producers, writers, advertising sales workers, engineers, actors, sportscasters and camera operators.
Georgia State degree programs connect to TV industry preparation in several ways. The journalism major trains students for work in the broadcast news industry, and the film major teaches production skills that are as useful to television work as to traditional filmmaking. In CMII, the goal is to supplement these degree sequences by adding advanced technology training. The main CMII facility is equipped with systems for virtual and augmented reality and motion capture.
- Internship experiences are especially valuable to students seeking employment in the broadcast television industry, in part because work in the industry often starts with apprenticeship-type early work.
- Georgia State alumni are employed at nearly all of the major local TV affiliates. The high visibility of CNN, TBS and Tyler Perry Studios has helped Atlanta gain prominence in the industry, along with the popularity of such shows as “The Walking Dead,” “Atlanta” and others produced here or connected to the city.
The global music industry is in transition. The large corporate studios that handled record and then CD and now streamed downloads have given way to smaller recording studios. (By some estimates, more than 300 are operating in Atlanta alone.) The work is more typically gig- and project-based and offers fewer pathways for lifetime work in a single large studio. Publishing and licensing companies and even mastering facilities and tour support companies are often run with lean staffing.
The Georgia State program strongly emphasizes entrepreneurship because the best way to develop a music industries career is to invent the job for yourself. We also strongly recommend students take advantage of the many CMII-organized opportunities for internships.
The principal training pathway available to Georgia State students interested in music is the School of Music.
- Programs provide outstanding and high-quality training in performance, music pedagogy, music industry and technology, and ensemble training connected to jazz and chorus and symphony and opera, along with instrumental training.
- Courses in the School of Music industries program, often cross-listed with a CMIS prefix, can help students prepare for careers as independent music entrepreneurs, booking or talent agents, concert promoters or artist's business managers.