One of the classic images of late 60s/early 70s television was architect-dad Mike Brady of The Brady Bunch seated at a drafting table designing his next masterpiece for a client. However, by the end of the decade, the advent of powerful desktop computers would transform the way drafting was done. The use of computer-aided drafting (or CAD) became a fast, accurate alternative to traditional hand drafting. Several small changes to a drawing could be made quickly that might have required a completely new drawing to be redone from scratch otherwise.
Building upon an existing CAD program previously designed by some of its co-founders, Autodesk released its first version of AutoCAD in December 1982. In the intervening thirty plus years, AutoCAD has become an indispensable tool for engineers, architects, and designers. A quick search of the job postings for AutoCAD-related jobs consistently reveals a demand for experienced professionals trained in its use. For those who choose to develop their skills, they create not only technical drawings but their own careers.
The College of Continuing and Professional Education at California State University Long Beach offers a comprehensive certificate in Engineering and Architectural AutoCAD using the latest release. Topics covered in the program include the basics (e.g. lines, grids, scales, entering coordinates), intermediate skills (e.g. editing, plotting, grouping objects into blocks), and more advanced techniques for greater precision and organization. Said one graduate of the certificate program, “By completing the AutoCAD Certificate Program, I now have the confidence to practice and discuss AutoCAD with even the most experienced CAD professionals.”