AutoCad is the most frequently used software in the engineering and design industry. However, it is in fact, quite a defunct medium which has been replaced in both form and function by the more contemporary SolidWorks. When you think of AutoCad’s purpose, it is to be a two dimensional drafting tool, whilst SolidWorks is a three dimensional modelling tool. The former being good at creating working designs based off of complex drawings and the latter being used to design moving parts and any other complicated three dimensional objects. To whip out some industry lingo, SolidWorks is great at parametric design and AutoCad at designing from a blue print. Your skills at both determine the limits of any emerging talent trying to get a good design career.

The strange thing about this is, modern design and engineering courses teach SolidWorks in much greater detail than AutoCad, whilst AutoCad is the preferred software of the industry. So what exactly would emerging talent trying to break into the industry be missing due to the lack of AutoCad training? AutoCad was the very first computer aided design project to be employed by designers. Many of the old boys would rather die than have to change their ways. AutoCad works best when it is dealing with lines, circles, arcs and poly lines, however over the years it has made use of C++ coding to make more customised objects.

As you can see, AutoCad is very much stuck in the past. The problem is, most employers are stuck in the past along with it. This fact has not gone unnoticed and since the year 2007, AutoCad has included some basic three dimensional modelling capabilities into their software. However, these are still nowhere near to the abilities of SolidWorks, and they have their own quirks and oddities when it comes to their use. Indeed, since the year 2010, AutoCad has introduced parametric functionality as well, making it almost equivalent to Solidworks, but still schools and colleges pay it only meagre attention. This has consequences for emerging talent.

The vast majority of job postings for design roles require the applicant to be fully proficient in the use of AutoCad. The vast majority are not.  This can lead to emerging talent not getting the job which could potentially send their career in the right direction. This is an example of the education system being out of touch with the industry. Schools are meant to prepare students for work in the real world, but quite often they fall short of these requirements. So what can a design student, not versed in the use of AutoCad do to fix the problem? Well, there are many different courses available for you to up skill either in person or online. You should make sure to check your local college listings as well as looking for an online course. Taking the extra time to become skilled in Autocad can mean the difference between a dream job and a total flop.