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

Majors Overview December 5, 2013

Those that want to pursue a career involving computers, drawing, and design, may want to earn a degree in computer-aided drafting. The experience and technical expertise needed to obtain a drafting job in a range of industries, featuring manufacturing, automotive settings, and computer, can be provided by an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree from a career college, community college, or technical school.

A.A. Programs in Computer Drafting and Design

Schools offer associate degree programs in Computer drafting and design, also referred to as computer-aided drafting and design (CADD), in different formats, such as Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Studies and Associate of Science programs. These programs can generally be completed within two years. Aspiring drafters are prepared through these programs to seek entry-level jobs that involve technical design; alternatively they may go on to pursue 4-year degree programs in related fields.

Education Requirements

Although not many prerequisites are required to be satisfied, admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Prospective students may also benefit by being proficient in keyboarding, though it is not a mandatory requirement. Students would also gain by completing high school drafting courses before seeking admission to these programs.


Coursework combines classroom lectures and lab studies. Hands-on training is given to students in creating computerized drawings; they also gain familiarity with design and drafting software programs. Coursework commonly includes topic areas such as:

•Civil and structural drawings
•Designing with Autodesk Inventor
•AutoCAD techniques
•Computer applications for technology
•Solid modeling
•Mechanical drafting
•Modern manufacturing techniques
•Engineering drafting and design
•Blueprint reading

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete associate degree programs in computer drafting and design can seek various entry-level jobs with construction, architectural, engineering and industrial firms, in addition to government agencies. Job titles sought may commonly include:

•CADD designer/drafter
•Electrical and electronic drafter
•Mechanical designer
•Architectural and civil drafter

Continuing Education Choices

While certification is not a mandatory requirement for drafters, professionals may seek voluntary certification to showcase their knowledge and skills in the field to potential job givers. Several certifications are available to drafters, based on their specialties and skill levels, such as the ones offered by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). Candidates are typically tested in examinations on their knowledge of drafting concepts, drawings, geometric designs, and drafting terminology. Those who graduate from the program may seek continued education by earning a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering technology or engineering; alternatively they may wish to join the workforce immediately.

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