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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design

Majors Overview December 5, 2013

Those that want to pursue a career in designing structures and buildings may want to look into computer-aided drafting and design (CADD). This gives people a chance to try out their artistic eye and technical competence while preparing for an entry-level place in the field.

A.A. Programs in Computer-aided Drafting and Design

Students enrolled in 2-year Associate Degree Programs in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design are typically required to spend the majority of their time involved in learning how to use CADD software, in addition to how to practically apply those programs, such as in the design of architectural plans, civil structures and mechanical and electrical systems. They may also choices of specializations in the industry, such as drafting and geospatial technology. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


CADD coursework usually requires students to study topics such as technical graphics, engineering drawing, and parametric modeling as they are related to a wide array of systems and structures including commercial architecture and green energy systems. They are also taught about the tools and materials used in their creation. Coursework commonly includes topic areas such as:

•Architectural design
•Technical drawing
•Mechanical design
•3-D modeling
•Computer applications

Career Choices

Graduates of an associate degree in computer-aided drafting and design are prepared to seek entry-level design occupations in various architectural or engineering fields including options such as:

•Electrical drafter
•Drafting technician
•Mechanical drafter

Continuing Education Choices

Students can pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree in related fields such as industrial technology, technology management and product design; this would help them add to the experience obtained in the associate degree program. In some programs, students are allowed to transfer credits earned in the associate’s degree program in order to complete these four-year bachelor’s degree programs within two more years.

Students, who satisfy specific requirements relating to testing, experience and education, can seek voluntary certification from certifying organizations such as the American Drafting Design Association (ADDA). By earning certification, these professionals can showcase their skills and experience in the field to potential job givers. A necessary requirement is the passage of the ADDA’s 90-minute exam covering topic areas such as geometric constructions, knowledge of symbols, drafting standards and object orientation.

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