Cool careers in screen and media


    From Netflix marathons and playing video games to scrolling on social media and catching up over Zoom, media platforms and screens have never been a more important part of our daily lives. The screen and media industry works at the hearts of these technologies and is responsible for many elements of their design and evolution. 

    To get the lowdown on this dynamic field and its exciting career possibilities, we spoke to Ryan Goggin – Head of Program, Art and Design (Animation and Games) at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Perth campus about the screen and media industry. 

    Meet Ryan

    Ryan began his career in the screen and media industry in the 1990s. After completing a degree in fine arts, he worked in multimedia before transitioning into a teaching role in 2000. 

    “I’ve been a trainer in digital art, animation and games for 22 years now and have never looked back.” he says. “As well as a love for art and telling a story, I was drawn to this industry as I enjoy learning. 

    “There is so much to learn from both an artistic and technical perspective, and it is rewarding and satisfying to pass this knowledge on to others.”

    The screen and media industry 

    The screen and media industry is a diverse and fast evolving field where creativity and technological innovation merge. According to Ryan, the industry is experiencing growth in both Australia and overseas, with increased global demand for animated content. 

    “In Australia the government is recognising the importance of the screen and media industry and is providing new incentives and funding packages for animation, visual effects and games companies.” says Ryan. 

    “Australian companies such as Rising Sun Pictures, Luma Pictures, Animal Logic, Flying Bark Productions and Plastic Wax are growing and have a diverse range of work available for aspiring artists.” 

    Anyone keen to work in the international screen and media industry will find plenty of opportunities right here in Australia. 

    “Australia has a strong history of cross-collaboration with overseas film studios producing animation and visual effects for Hollywood blockbusters, and creating content for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Stan.” says Ryan.

    “New virtual production technology allows real-time collaboration between countries and overcomes the challenges created by COVID-19 lockdowns.” 

    Career outcomes

    The screen and media industry is an incredibly diverse field made up of many different roles; including 3D modeller, animator, games developer, multimedia developer, visual effects artist, cinematographer, technical artist and concept artist.

    Ryan says it’s not uncommon for screen and media professionals to find work outside the industry as well. “They can pathway these skills into many varied companies and organisations,” he says. 

    “There are obviously companies within the entertainment industry (film, TV, streaming platforms, games and visual effects) but there are also many other industries that a graduate can take their skills into such as advertising, graphic design, visualisation and simulation (for architecture, mining, defence, medical, legal, virtual reality and augmented reality), manufacturing, engineering and 3D design.” 

    In the screen and media industry, you can narrow down your interests and specialities and work in a variety of exciting fields. 

    “The skills taught in an animation or games course can be applied to any of these fields.” says Ryan. “Along with learning agility and a collaborative mindset, the possibilities are nearly endless.” 

    Choosing a screen and media course 

    Having taught screen and media courses for over 20 years, Ryan is an expert when it comes to choosing a screen and media qualification. He emphasises the importance of picking a course with practical skills.  

    “Prospective students should look for a practical course that teaches skills with the latest technology.” he says. “The course should allow a student to develop these skills while still nurturing their individual creativity and entrepreneurialism. The student should come out at the end of the course with a good showreel, and the ability to learn, adapt and solve problems.”

    “As the entertainment and screen and media industry has changed so much and continues to change so quickly, it’s important students are provided with a solid foundation upon which they can build and continue to grow once they are involved and working in the industry.” 

    At TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA), there are a range of courses available to those eager to explore this unique career pathway, with exciting specialisations that can allow you to pursue your passions. You can select from the following courses delivered at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Perth campus:

    Advice for future screen and media students 

    If you’re considering a career in the screen and media industry, Ryan has five pieces of advice. 

    1. Keep practising and learning. You'll be a student forever in this industry. Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Working in animation and games, you'll wear many hats and be required to do different tasks, some of which haven't even been invented yet. 
    2. Your showreel will be an ever-evolving piece. Keep updating and improving on it. If you have a particular company you want to work for, research it and customise your showreel to the style of that company.
    3. Don't get pigeonholed into one art style. Develop the ability to adapt to any style and stay open to as many influences as possible. This way you can be free of limitations and create many more opportunities for yourself.
    4. Transfer your skills to other software tools and have an open mind. You could restrict yourself if you become compartmentalised or biased towards only one particular tool – for example, thinking “I only use Maya/Max/Blender and the others are no good.”
    5. Above all, stay inspired and it will show in your work. Good luck!

    If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact TIWA for advice(opens in a new tab) on how to navigate your study and career journey.

    Last updated on April 6, 2023