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

Majors Overview December 8, 2013

Receive information about Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in mechanical computer-aided design and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Mechanical Computer-Aided Design

Students enrolled in Associate degree programs in mechanical computer-aided design (CAD) are trained to draft technical schematics and drawings they would need in creating mechanical equipment. Students can expect to become adept at using highly sophisticated software in designing things such as buildings, satellites, automobiles, engine parts and circuit boards.

Students can also expect to gain expertise in creating hand-drawn sketches or devising design ideas and using CAD programs to transferring the ideas into 3-dimensional models. They are also taught how to use CAD software applications in updating designs, creating inventory lists and printing blueprints. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Although Coursework in several degree programs is focused on topic areas relevant to program applications of CAD software, many associate programs also help students in the use of CAD programs aimed at creating schematics they can use in specific fields. Coursework typically includes topic areas such as:

•CAD fundamentals
•Geometric dimensioning
•Mechanical assemblies
•Tools drafting
•Building materials
•CAD tolerance
•Electronics layout and design
•Mechanical drafting
•CAD technologies
•3-D modeling

Career Choices

Drafters are greatly in demand among various industries and graduates can seek entry-level jobs in the architectural, aeronautics, civil design and electronics fields. The job givers may include large-scale design firms, government agencies or private businesses. Popular career options for graduates may include:

•Mechanical engineering technician
•Mechanical design technician
•CAD technician
•Printed-circuit designer

Continuing Education Choices

Given the continually changing nature of CAD software programs, continued education training will be needed by these professionals during the whole course of their careers. Employers may facilitate additional training for employees (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Drafters may also seek voluntary certification that would help them demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers.

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