CADD certification opens doors to many career fields

CADD certification opens doors to many career fields

Hyatt: If it's technical, chances are good that a technical designer is required

September 27, 2023 — Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets among Midland ISD’s dual-credit offerings involves a combination of creativity and technical know-how that students can use to launch a career after high school or give them a big head start in college.

Computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) is far more than sketching stodgy blueprints, and long gone are the days when work was done exclusively “by board” on drafting tables.

“Our students learn using the most up-to-date technical design software, the same they will use whether to go to college or straight into industry,” said instructor Vanessa Hyatt. AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit and Fusion 360 are all part of the two-year curriculum, and the careers in which these tools are necessary abound.

Fields such as engineering, architecture and surveying all use CADD. “Machinists use CADD, as do patent drawers and pipe designers,” Hyatt said. “Having CADD certifications really opens a wide world of opportunities. If it’s technical, chances are good that a technical designer is required.”

Being able to create designs to exacting specifications in both two and three dimensions is only part of what students learn in the dual-credit CADD pathway. Project management, critical thinking, interpersonal communication and writing skills are crucial. 

“You’re always working in a team, and the accuracy of information is vital, so being a strong, succinct communicator and being organized are a must,” Hyatt said, adding that being a self-starter is also beneficial “because a lot of firms outsource design, so many technical drawers are self-employed or work in small teams dedicated to serving companies that don’t have the capacity to do CADD in-house.”

MISD students have the opportunity to receive CADD certification, which can qualify them for entry level drafting jobs right out of high school. The certification also gives them a head start in college. 

“Majors such as architecture require CADD before they fully let you into the program,” said Hyatt, who learned the craft at Texas A&M and spent decades in the industry before becoming an instructor. “Being certified even before starting college saves a lot of time and money.”

Certification is the first step in a great career where people can grow into other roles.

“Many start as a drafter or technical drawer and advance to other positions such as project manager,” Hyatt said. “However, whether you want to be an architect, engineer or surveyor, having technical design knowledge is critical, and we instill that in our program.”


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Trevor Hawes
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