Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Computer-Aided DesignMajors Overview February 13, 2014
Computer-aided design, also known as CAD, is used in several industries, such as construction, fashion design, and manufacturing. With an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in computer-aided design (CAD), students will be prepared for careers in technical fields, such as electronic, architectural, and civil fields.
A.A. Programs in Computer-Aided Design
Schools offering these associate’s degree programs often use the terms Computer-aided design (CAD) and CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) interchangeably. Students enrolled in these programs about using computers and the appropriate software in drafting technical layouts, such as 2-D floor plans and 3-D images. Typically, technical colleges and community colleges offer these two-year programs. Admission criteria in these associate’s degree programs typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
Coursework combines classroom lectures with laboratory instruction devised to give students hands-on experience while teaching them CAD design techniques. Programs may also require that students complete capstone courses wherein they solve a chosen design problem using the knowledge they obtain in the course. Students typically complete coursework that includes topic areas such as:
•Mechanics of materials
•CAD tool detailing
Students are provided with skills that are useful in many areas and can pursue entry-level work with architecture firms involved in designing office buildings and housing as well as with government agencies specializing in urban development, among a host of other developmental settings. They can choose from various career titles such as:
Continuing Education Choices
Although certification is not mandatory, drafters and designers can obtain certification and showcase their knowledge of industry-recognized drafting procedures and practices. Eligible candidates can choose from many certification options offered by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA).
Passage of the exam will be made possible through the demonstration by students of their knowledge of basic drafting principles, geometric concepts, CAD drawings and drafting terminology. Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree programs can seek entry-level occupations in the field immediately on completing the program; alternatively, they may want to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology, or other related field.