With many industry leaders and students present, Miami Dade College (MDC) on Oct. 10 unveiled plans for the future development of the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) to be housed in Downtown Miami at the Wolfson Campus.
Plans and the vision were announced during the MIA Animation Conference & Festival to strengthen and better position Miami as the new hub for the animation and game development industries, by providing an educational foundation to support these bourgeoning fields.
Animation enthusiasts from all over the world, along with major Los Angeles animation studio executives, top software gurus, artists, and others convened in Miami at MDC to participate the MIA Animation Conference and to witness the unveiling of plans and renderings for MAGIC.
A large number of companies in the animation and gaming industries from all over the world, including Germany, Spain, and France, are now calling Miami home in the areas of computer animation, gaming, visual effects and motion graphics, film, Web design and visual arts. A major media network recently reported that “an emerging high-tech industry is quietly taking hold of Miami — could the city be the “next Silicon Valley?”
“It is important for Miami Dade College to again be at the forefront to provide new talent and a trained workforce to these industries,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, president of the Wolfson Campus.
Over the past decade, Miami has become the international gateway for many industries. The engineering and technology fields, in particular, are ever-evolving and pose great potential for expansion. The rapid pace of change has created a demand for workers who are not only skilled, but also capable of adaptation. Miami Dade College’s acclaimed School of Engineering and Technology is prepared to meet these demands by creating a learning experience that is rigorous in curricula preparation and that provides direct application to workforce standards.
As a pioneer in innovation, MDC is the ideal venue for the expansion of its newly revamped Emerging Technologies Center of the Americas (ETCOTA) by introducing new, robust and high-technical programs in animation and game development, just to name a few, that will complement MAGIC.
Located at MDC’s Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami, ETCOTAwill break the barriers of traditional learning. Students will be immersed fully in hands-on learning experiences that are discovery learning based in a high-tech environment. With its many international students, Wolfson Campus is one of the college’s most diverse campuses. Placing the technology in this geographic location will place Miami at the forefront of all emerging technologies and trends.
ETCOTA also will create a pipeline for students who come from underrepresented communities to become exposed to the various high technology industries. In particular, cybersecurity, animation and game development and robotics all provide employment pathways for students who come from a multitude of socio-economic backgrounds.
This is all highly important because entertainment software companies are “growing as a source of employment in states and localities across the nation.” Currently, computer and video game companies “employ more than 120,000 people in 34 states,” including Florida. In addition, the U.S. entertainment software industry continues to “function as a vital source of employment.” The average salary for direct employees is $90,000 nationwide, “resulting in [a] total national compensation of $2.9 billion.” Interactive entertainment software industry personnel can anticipate an increase of 20 percent of pay through direct and indirect employment due to the high demand in field. Florida’s economic growth, especially in South Florida, is opportune to meet the growth.
Programmers and engineers are the creators and contributors to major industry drivers, such as Netflix, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii.
In Miami, there are several companies that are already engaged in industry work, such as HMC Films, New Art Miami, Final Cutz, Quack Studios and Stellar Hawk. These organizations would provide MDC graduates with job opportunities post-graduation.
The new partnerships and programs MDC proposes related to MAGIC and ETCOTA will blaze trails in the region. These educational facilities will be designed and constructed featuring all aspects currently observed by the animation and game development industries.
Find out more about the educational programs currently being offered at Miami Dade College and the development of the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex and ETCOTAat Miami Dade College by visiting www.mdc.edu/wolfson.