CAD schools offering four-year degrees will require intensive mathematics, geometry, and trigonometry courses in addition to general education requirements. Coursework in CAD modeling, basic AutoCAD, architectural design, structural drafting, topographic mapping, three-dimensional modeling, commercial drafting, and machine design is also required. Hands-on learning labs will provide students with technical expertise for a variety of computer drafting software programs and further develop technical drawing skills. Technical writing courses may also be required to prepare graduates with essential communication and presentation skills. Many programs offer internships to provide professional experience prior to graduation.
Upon graduation, individuals with CAD degrees are eligible for entry-level positions in a variety of industries. Some may go on to work with manufacturing researchers or product engineers to create blueprints for new product models, or may work closely with architects to create design blueprints. Others may choose careers in civil engineering, working with governmental agencies or private companies to create detailed designs for public projects or topography maps. Still others may secure positions as electrical or pipeline drafters. Keep in mind that employers favor graduates with degrees from accredited universities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations that require CAD skills are growing at a rate slightly below that of the average for all occupations. The most career opportunities are within the civil, architectural, and mechanical drafting fields.