When it comes to software training programs, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. Whether a user is entering a new career field and wants to learn the basics or is a seasoned professional seeking certification, AutoCAD training can be customized to meet a user's specific needs.
According to information from vendor Autodesk, the computer-aided design (CAD) package AutoCAD is used by professionals in a wide range of industries. Industrial designers, technicians, interior designers, architects, engineers and workers in many other career fields rely on this software to help them find and implement design solutions. While these professionals once relied on a drafting board, a parallel ruler, triangles, a compass, and other drafting tools, they now rely on CAD software.
Essentially, AutoCAD has made the proverbial drawing board a thing of the past.
Who will succeed in AutoCAD courses?
According to career information from Ferguson's Career Guidance Center, users of CAD software should be good problem solvers, logical and analytical, and be attentive to details--it's important for these professionals to get the little things right. Additionally, some of the best designers also have training in other technical design aspects.
AutoCAD training plans vary
AutoCAD training courses come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a handful of options for learners:
- High school: Some AutoCAD users start young. High school drafting classes sometimes offer very basic AutoCAD training. Though these courses are rudimentary, they can lay a foundation for further training.
- Technical schools and community colleges: Many AutoCAD courses are for career-minded individuals, and these schools widely offer opportunities for professionals to learn how to apply CAD skills in the workforce. The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) publishes a list of more than 70 certified schools with design/drafting curricula--including AutoCAD training--that meet ADDA standards.
- Professional certification: In addition to proving curriculum standards, the ADDA also offers professionals certification in computer-aided design based on AutoCAD and other computer-based drafting tools.
- Vendor certification: The most thorough option, AutoCAD training resulting in vendor certification, can "lead to accelerated professional development, improved productivity and enhanced credibility for you and your employer," according to Autodesk.
Choosing the right course of AutoCAD training can help both professionals and organizations make the most out of this valuable software.
AutoCAD certification can add value
Vendor information indicates AutoCAD certification is offered exclusively through Certiport, and has been tailored to meet both industry and academic standards. Three levels of certification are offered:
- AutoCAD Certified User, intended for post-secondary students, covers both academic and industry standards and lays strong groundwork for more advanced learning. The certification exam has a one-hour time limit and includes 30 questions based on common tasks, tools, and features of the AutoCAD software.
- AutoCAD Certified Associate accreditation is for professionals with at least 100 hours of hands-on experience with the software.
- AutoCAD Certified Professional standing is reserved for professionals who have accumulated at least 400 hours of hands-on experience. The exam includes 100 questions to be answered within a two-hour time frame.
With so many varying AutoCAD training options, today's professionals are likely to find a program or certification to fit their needs.