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AutoCAD Certificate?

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Seeing some of the other threads reminded me of something I've been meaning to ask the Throbbing Brain for a while: how many of you use AutoCAD, or find it to be useful? A local university offers certificates and Associate's Degrees in computer drafting etc, and I've been thinking about doing one or the other. It's a pretty big commitment in terms of time and money, and I only want to take on more student loan debt if it will pay off in future, although learning AutoCAD sounds like fun....So, thoughts? Suggestions?
 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
435
Points
13
Why not study GIS? Unless you are involved with urban design or landscape. But for planning purposes I would think GIS would be more beneficial.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I go through periods of using AutoCAD and long periods where I don't need it.
I am glad I took it in university, however, I learned on version 10(primarily line driven) and we are at the equivalent of version 16 or 17 (windows driven).

I don't think a full certificate is necesarily required to do our job on a daily basis. A few courses, and an ability to visualize line weight and space is all you really need. I can't remember the last time I had to 3D Face an object then create a block, with attributes then insert it and extract the attributes to another file for compilation and review.

For complex drawings and mapping I have staff that look after it for me. It has helped having a good knowledge of what it can do and how to do it when I speak to the techs.
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
I agree with Donk. I self-taught myself AutoCAD (also using rel. 10) some years back while working for a Chicago suburb. As GIS has become more a part of my work, I spend much more time creating maps in ArcMap. We still use AutoCAD here, but it is used mainly by engineering techs who are reluctant to move on to a different technology. Since AutoCAD is a mega-featured drafting program, in your planning practice you will rarely use more than say, 40 percent of its features. So if you get a good self-teaching manual and learn the basics, you will probably know all you will ever use without the time and expense of a certificate program. I also agree with teshadoh, you are probably better off using that time and effort in GIS. Good luck!
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
When I got out of grad school and was looking for a job, I took an AutoCad class, hoping it might make me more employable. Five years later, I have never used it even once.
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
I never took formal training in Autocad but have been using it regularly from the last eight years or so.
Although the latest version is AutoCad 2005 I am still working on 2000. Its a very useful tool for map making. Mostly architects and engineers use it for planners it's a very useful map making/vectorisation tool. In fact most of my work on GIS starts after I create and edit maps in AutoCAd.
AutoCad is useful for planners too as many popular GIS packages do not have the vector map creating module.
All my subdivision plans are made in Autocad. You can also make Text sheets and add images using AutoCAd.
IF you think you can learn it on your own then thats the best way todo it but better take some guidance form an expert as it will save you time.
IF a formal certificate course will help your employment profile only then it's worth doing it.
Also it depends on how much time and money you can afford on it. If there are constriants then better find someone who knows the software well( and its various commands and applications) and start off at home or in office( if that can be done).
 
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