UTech, Jamaica Opens Up Opportunities for Careers in Sound and Audio Production Technology

The Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, UTech, Jamaica, which will offer the new Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Design and Production Technology, beginning in January 2021, on October 14, 2020, hosted a career webinar via the Zoom online platform to promote opportunities in sound and audio production technology, and to sensitize the community about the new course of study.

The webinar was hosted in partnership with the Metalworks Institute of Sound and Music Production, Canada, an educational extension of the world-renowned Metalworks Studios, home to many of the world’s most successful artistes and music producers. The University and Metalworks Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2020 to facilitate the education of the next generation of music industry professionals, who will meet the increasingly complex and technical needs of the global entertainment industry. The five-year agreement will encompass collaboration in academic development, enriching student experience, and developing a technical context for the rise of more artistic talents.

The well-attended career webinar was chaired by Professor Shermaine Barrett, Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, who indicated that the occasion was an opportunity for UTech, Jamaica and Metalworks Institute to showcase “the field of sound and audio engineering as a viable option for persons to pursue, while promoting the Entertainment Design and Production Technology course of study”.

Professor Barrett noted that the global $20 billion music industry makes a significant contribution to the world economy, with the creative industry in Jamaica being the third largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), offering the opportunity for many diverse career paths. She emphasized that it was critical for the Faculty to showcase creative areas as viable career options to be pursued.  

Her Excellency Laurie Peters, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, who brought greetings at the webinar, praised the University and Metalworks Institute for forging a partnership that produced a course of study that will focus on providing opportunities for entrepreneurship, indicating “the combination of the innate human creativity, new and evolving technologies and entrepreneurial acumen is a winning combination for the future of Jamaica’s entertainment and creative arts industries.”  The High Commissioner also offered special commendation to the University’s Dr. Claire Sutherland, Senior Director, Office of International and Institutional Linkages for initiating contact to establish this and other alliances.

The High Commissioner further noted that the University of Technology, Jamaica shares a long-standing partnership with Canada, especially in the area of collaborating to provide greater opportunities for education.  “This collaboration is in sync with Canada’s approach to international education, as it creates a natural partnership leading towards a common goal of expanding our citizens’ access to higher education and skills training, strengthening the workforce and creating the necessary environment to compete successfully in the global marketplace,” she noted.

Director of Global Strategy & Innovation at Metalworks Institute, Mr. Craig McDonald, thanked the University for hosting the webinar, and for “helping to convey the opportunities available in the entertainment industry, both on stage and off stage.”  Mr. McDonald noted that Metalworks Institute was founded in Canada to address a similar growing need for skilled technicians capable of performing creative and technical duties and to satisfy an industry that was moving towards digital technology.

He presented a video that showcased the various responsibilities of sound and audio engineers, and also introduced successful Metalworks Institute graduate Mr. Jason Reynolds, audio engineer and tour and production manager, who has worked with international superstars Shaggy, Koffee, the Marley Brothers, and acclaimed church choirs.

In sharing his experiences, Mr. Reynolds charted the course of his own journey from his youthful days in Jamaica to being one of the most successful and sought after audio engineers and tour and production managers in the industry. Like many Jamaicans, his first introduction to music was in church. But it was his discovery of reggae, through Buju Banton’s 1994 album Til Shiloh, that stoked his passion, and led him to seek opportunities that would eventually lead to his enrolment in a yearlong course of study at Metalworks Institute.

Mr. Reynolds credits the training and mentorship he received with providing the guidance and values that continue to underpin all his endeavours; from working with international artistes to his work as technical director for Toronto’s Faith Sanctuary Pentecostal Church. Pointing out that there were many diverse and viable careers in the music industry, the Jamaican Canadian entrepreneur championed education and hard-work, in equal parts to tenacity and dedication, explaining that he had started out as a freelance sound technician before being hired on a tour for Shaggy on the eve of his decision to quit the business after many failures and setbacks.

“To tell a little bit of my story is to share with people what is possible in this industry,” he said, urging webinar participants to remain focused on their goals and to be steadfast in their commitment to their craft. He emphasized his elation at having a recognized and accredited institution such as UTech, Jamaica providing opportunities to train audio engineers who will enhance Jamaica’s vibrant entertainment and creative brand. “Having a structured education system to train and develop audio engineers is the missing link I think to take our culture of reggae and dancehall music to that next level, to be an internationally recognized touring brand,” he noted.

Programme Overview

Dr. Everton Lewis, Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, provided a programme overview of the BSc. in Entertainment Design and Production Technology, indicating that it is designed to bridge the link between the Cultural and Creative Arts and Science and Technology, and will provide accredited training and education in set design, lighting, sound and audio technology, visual effects, and stage and broadcast management at international standards. The interdisciplinary four-year course of study is a unique offering among local tertiary institutions, and focuses on “experiential, hands-on learning” to foster artistic thinking.

Matriculation requirements are 5 CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, including Mathematics and English, or an Associate Degree or Diploma in a related field from an accredited institution. Special admission is also facilitated through prior learning assessments and industry experience.

A robust question and answer session followed the presentation, with participants expressing strong interest in the programme.

For further information on the BSc. in Entertainment Design and Production Technology, contact the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies at edpt.fels@utech.edu.jm or 876-927-1612.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm