Digital Media in Louisiana

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01
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Part
01

Digital Media in Louisiana: Industry

There are an estimated 14,840 people employed in the digital media industry in Louisiana.

DIGITAL MEDIA INDUSTRY

  • Louisiana's rich culture in creativity, film, music, and television has been a natural fit for the development of an emerging digital media and technology industry. The industry first began cultivating video game development in 2005 when it passed the digital media tax credit program, attracting major game developer, EA Games, to the state.
  • In 2009, Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Economic Development (LED) office decided to shift its focus to the whole space of digital media, expanding the program's definition of "digital interactive media," which is now available to any type of software development for commercial sale, including national security and IT applications. The industry offers bottom-line savings in the form of a 25 percent tax credit for expenditures and a 35 percent tax credit for Louisiana labor.
  • These incentives have helped to create thousands of new jobs in the state and catapult the region to the forefront of a rapidly growing digital media industry.
  • Louisiana's digital media industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, growing at a rate of more than 100 percent, according to the secretary of LED, Stephen Moret.
  • Besides, its information sector, including software publishing and telecommunications, has experienced the second fastest growth rate in the country since June 2009.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • Louisiana’s rapidly growing software industry employed 11,694 people in 2016 and had a $1.5 billion impact on the state’s economy. The industry is supported by one of the most aggressive digital media incentives in North America.
  • The Digital Interactive Media and Software Program provides a 25 percent tax credit on qualified payroll for resident labor and 18 percent for qualified production expenditures.
  • The tax credit can be applied to state income tax liability, and the state will refund any overages or applicants can opt for 85% of the value earned as a rebate any time during the year.

Employees in the Digital Media Industry Sector

Below are the industry sectors and employment of the digital media industry, according to BLS.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

After thorough research, we couldn't answer some part of the request. We were only able to provide the estimated number of employed in the digital media industry in Louisiana, which we based on the industry sector and employment from BLS.gov. However, we did not find information on a precompiled number of employed in the digital media industry, but only the specific software industry had information on the number of employees and economic impact.

First, we began by searching for precompiled information on the estimated number of people employed in the digital media industry in Louisiana. We looked through states government websites such as Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Entertainment, and Greater New Orleans Inc. We did find information about the digital media and software development industry among those websites, though this is the recent data (2016) available. We did not obtain the information for the digital media industry.

Next, we searched for industry research, study, article, news, press releases to find any data and information on the number of people employed in the digital media industry in Louisiana and its economic impact. We looked through the Economics Research Associates, Government Technology, Business Reports, LSU System Research & Technology Foundation, Business Facilities, among others. We found a report from ERA in 2009 that provides the economic impact and employment trends specific to the digital media industry in the state of Louisiana. However, this is an old source in which it just the only precompiled data, but we couldn't provide this as the answer to this request because it's too old.

We then tried to find alternative data points to triangulate the number of employees in the digital media industry. We looked through government employment websites such as BLS and Cencus.gov. We found in BLS the 2017 State occupational employment and wage estimates for Louisiana and tried to filter to find if there is a specific digital media industry on the website. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the "digital media industry" itself on the page, so then we checked the industry definition for digital media and breakdown per title that qualified. Then after listing all the industry sector for digital media, we got the total employment of each occupation.

These are the sector of occupation in the digital media industry and the number of employment, according to BLS.

Computer systems analysts: 1,930 employees.
Computer programmers: 2,340 employees.
Software developers, applications: 1,160 employees.
Software developers, systems software: 1,200 employees.
Web developers: 460 employees.
Database administrators: 440 employees.
Network and computer systems administrators: 2,790 employees.
Computer network architects: 350 employees.
Multimedia artists and animators: 160 employees.
Media and communication workers: 370 employees.
Audio and video equipment technicians: 740 employees.
Sound engineering technicians: 240 employees.
Broadcast technicians: 130 employees.
Film and video editors: 150 employees.
Camera operators, television, video, and motion picture: 310 employees.
Media and communication equipment workers, all other: 200 employees.
Graphic designers: 1,720 employees.
Photographic process workers and processing machine operators: 150 employees.

CALCULATION
1,930 + 2340 + 1,160 + 1,200 + 460 +440 + 2790 + 350 + 160 + 370 + 740 + 240 + 240 + 130 + 150 +310 + 200 + 1,720 + 150= The total or estimated number of people who are employed in the digital media industry, which is 14,840.


Part
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Part
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Digital Media in Louisiana: Jobs/Wages

Entry-Level

Mid-Level

Senior-Level (Management)

YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY:

We began our research by examining Indeed to identify jobs in the digital media industry in the state of Louisiana. Further, we applied filters such as 'full-time' and 'entry-level' to find relevant positions that require low-level skills. After checking various positions that were available, we found roles such as associate media planner and digital ad traffic associate along with the annual salary range. The same strategy was applied to identify mid-level and senior-level jobs on Indeed.
Part
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Part
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Digital Media in Louisiana: Training

While we were unable to conclusively determine whether there are training gaps within the digital media industry in New Orleans, the research team was able to find a number of insights into the overall industry, benefits already present in the industry in New Orleans, the workforce, and training and education opportunities available in New Orleans. We also found information relating to companies active in this market in New Orleans.

USEFUL FINDINGS REGARDING THE NEW ORLEANS DIGITAL MEDIA INDUSTRY


OVERVIEW
BENEFITS

WORKFORCE
  • The benefits associated with the tax credits in the digital market industry have contributed to a workforce that earns between $40,000 and $65,000 in entry-level positions.
  • More than 50% of the employees are from within New Orleans and less than from out of state, Venezuela, and India (Source 2)
  • The digital interactive media and software development incentive is likely to have influenced the high number of in-state labor compared with employees who are from out of state.
  • New Orleans also has a week-long initiative called NOLA Tech Week which focuses on a combination of community activities including art, food, and education that are completely free with the intention of educating and sensitizing businesses and members of the community.
  • The state has become an attraction for more experienced professionals in the field who are looking for better job opportunities and can be seen by its six years of in-migration.
  • Compared with the US, New Orleans has 56% more individuals starting businesses.
  • New Orleans has outpaced the national growth rate for jobs in the industry by 22% since 2006.

TRAINING/EDUCATION
  • Universities and technical colleges have made a big impact in getting graduates ready to take on new roles in the industry, specific to the needs of the industry.
  • Southeast Louisiana is home to 14 higher education institutions that are great contributors to the training of professionals in the industry.
  • Delgado Community College, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of New Orleans, Tulane University, Tech Talent South Private School, and Operation Spark non-profit organization are a few of these institutions.
  • Training is offered in areas like Programmer/Analyst, Web Design, Information Security/Assurance, Game Design, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology, JavaScript, Structured Query Language (SQL), PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), and more.
  • Training provided by DXC Technology includes "applications, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, and intelligent automation."
  • Of the training completed in 2016, 70% of them were either bachelor's or master's degree while 27% were less than a bachelor's degree.
  • The increase in training specific to occupations in digital media is indicative of growth since educational achievements have also increased.
  • Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO Inc.) has been instrumental in increasing the number of training programs to complement the demands of a trained workforce (e.g. its Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SWEAP)).
  • YouthForce NOLA (YFN) is advocating for an introduction of digital media credentials in high schools.

COMPANIES THAT HAVE EXPANDED INTO THE INDUSTRY
  • Globalstar, DXC Technology, GE Digital, Accruent, Revelry Labs, iMerit, inXile Entertainment, High Voltage Software, Lucid, zlien, TurboSquid, Gameloft, Search Influence, and Netchex are some companies that are currently in the industry.
  • DXC Technology announced intentions to operate its Digital Transformation Center in the state in January 2018.
  • DXC Technology was expected to hire 300 professionals across IT and business enterprise areas in 2018 and proposed to create at least 2,000 jobs by the year 2025. It also expects to have similar programs like SWEAP with a wider range of schools.
  • Gameloft began operating in New Orleans in 2011.
  • iMerit intended to create more than 100 jobs in its delivery center in 2018 by tapping into underserved populations.
  • The company had its first connection through LED FastStart's Louisiana Job Connection and hired 15 employees.


RESEARCH STRATEGY:

First, in order to answer this research question, we looked for the information in industry reports. We were able to find useful information in Greater New Orleans Inc.'s (GNO Inc.) reports, but the information was not specific to training gaps in the digital media industry of New Orleans.

Second, we leveraged news sources that are both regional and industry-specific for information relating to training gaps within the digital media industry in New Orleans, but we were unsuccessful. We then expanded our search to press releases within the digital media industry relating to New Orleans and we were able to find more useful information, although nothing specifically addresses whether there are training gaps in the industry.

Third, we decided to incorporate information from experts in the field by looking for interviews surrounding the topic of training in digital media within the New Orleans industry from Development Counselors International. We had hoped that there would be indications of how well training programs are going, whether companies are facing challenges with a glut in the industry or a deficiency. We found an interview with Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO, Inc., but Hecht spoke mostly in support of information provided in news sources and press releases.

Fourth, we expanded the scope to search for information prior to 2017 but the information we found was not specific to a training gap, but growth. These sources were not included since we already found recent sources which provided useful information on the growth of the industry. All information gathered was provided.
Sources
Sources