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Orlando, The Capital of Simulation and Training

Orlando has a lot more to offer than theme parks!

With major players like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Cubic, Bohemia and the National Center for Simulation all located within 20 miles from each other, it’s no wonder Orlando is considered the Capital for Simulation and Training in the world. Many of these simulation and training centers are concentrated in Central Florida Research Park (CFRP) located right next to the University of Central Florida (UCF). CFRP is the fourth largest research park and is home to many organizations hosted by the United States Department of Defense, UCF, and private corporations. These organization partner up with the university to give UCF students more opportunities in the cutting-edge field of simulation and modeling while providing a boost to the industry locally. Former UCF President, John C. Hitt stated that the agreement to work with the department of defense was to open broad new frontiers for research and innovation.

All four military branches and the Coast Guard have offices in Orlando tied to simulation and training. According to SimulationInformation.com, “currently, Team Orlando Command organizations employ nearly 2,800 military & civilian personnel in the UCF Research Park, collectively providing budget procurement for more than $4.2 billion in annual US MS&T expenditures.”

About 30,000 people in Florida work in simulation and training, with an average salary of $78,341. And it looks as though those jobs are secure. Team Orlando is a group composed of military and federal offices responsible for research and development for America’s military simulation and training products and services. After years of effort and $42 million from the state of Florida, Team Orlando has secured 207,000 additional square feet of space where these agencies can work rent and maintenance free.

“This investment is going to BRAC-proof Team Orlando.” Thomas Baptiste, president of the National Center for Simulation, has spearheaded the effort to keep the simulation cluster in Orlando. The idea is to keep the high-paying tech jobs in the Orlando cluster, which is focused on computer simulation, training and also cyber-defense or anti-hacking activities — and insulate it from being sent elsewhere under a potential future round of Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Team Orlando is now virtually immune to any future base closure efforts, according to Baptiste.

So, what is the focus?
Recently, there has become a focus on building more training programs that use e-learning and simulations. Simulations allow trainees to learn without experiencing real world consequences. Serious Gaming has become a popular tool to promote engaging lessons to help learners retain information. There is an increase in simulation and software engineer jobs in Orlando as demand for these training simulations and cyber security needs increase. The Florida Chamber of Commerce reports that, since 2010, the science, technology and engineering field has grown by 63% and there are over 55,000 unfilled jobs throughout Florida in the industry. Growth is expected to rise steadily through at least 2021, so focusing on the modeling and simulation industry can lead to a secure and high-paying career.

Health care professionals are increasingly using simulation and technology to advance the field and improve patient care – and the future applications are limitless. With this field rapidly evolving along with the advancement of technology, there is growing demand for health care simulation experts, so much that the University of Central Florida has created a Nursing Simulation Graduate Program. With virtual reality and augmented reality on the rise, new ways to learn medicine and health care have surfaced. The ability to see and interact with virtual patients create a safe and engaging learning experience for students and healthcare practitioners.

As a recruitment firm focused in simulation, we are strategically located right in the capital of simulation and training. Our offices are located in Research Park near all of the major facilities giving us local market knowledge and a competitive advantage. We work closely with our clients to build strong relationships and help our clients remain competitive in the simulation and training community.

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