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Thread: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

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    Default What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    I'm guessing I need to go to the some of the local schools and actually check out their curriculums, but it sure seems to me that the newest cad tech's aren't very adept at drafting, or using AutoCAD. In the past I have purposely hired 'drafters' with little to no experience because their schooling was decent enough that all I had to teach was the company stuff, AutoCAD commands and uses needed reminders not full on lessons. No past experience has typically translated to less issues learning a new way of doing things.

    Some of my observations in the last 3 hires made in the past year, 2 of them were rookies and 1 was somewhat experienced:
    Keyboard commands and command modifiers are nearly foreign concepts.
    AutoCAD customization is a completely foreign concept.
    Xrefs and block knowledge are extremely limited.
    Drafting concepts are non-existent. Drawings are nearly impossible to read on the first pass.

    When I went to school to become a Drafter, not a cad tech, I learned how to board draft, how to write (simple) lisps and customize my AutoCAD to work for me. I learned about and created block libraries, and learned how and why to use xrefs. These to me were some of the most important lessons I had. Sure seems to me that at least locally, someone is dropping the ball!
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    Programming Moderator BlackBox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    I agree with you... However, the only way we're going to get better entry level CAD Techs is by improving the quality of the information they're taught, and that will only happen when adept designers, users, etc. take teaching positions within their local schools... Above, and beyond (presuming not in lieu of) their own daily work.

    ... And I say that being a bit self-critical as well, as the very thought of taking a part-time CAD instructor position dawns on me each-and-every-time I pass the local ITT-Tech campus near my own home.
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    I agree. We just had a guy come in for an entry level position a few weeks back. The kid was going to ITT Tech half way through his bachelors degree right. I knew the kid was going to struggle with the the CAD test but setting stuff like the correct text style, multileader style, layers etc. basically basic CAD fundamentals was an epic failure. I sure as hell don't know what they are teaching these kids but damn it doesn't seem like they are getting basic training to compete in the real world.
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    I also agree.
    On the other hand I have also noticed the general inability to read drawings which is so frustrating when you put the time and effort into creating sections and details and then having to explain what each view is.
    This is mostly noticed with Project Engineers and even Managers.

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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    While I'm in agreement with BB that instructors should be capable and professionally competent in the industry, I'll take issue with the widely prevalent thinking that that expertise is all that's needed. Teaching is a skill set, and requires passion for teaching others -- not just passion for the subject. I've known many competent do-ers over the years, but only rarely has that competence included skill in transferring their knowledge to others, whether co-workers or students. and even more rarely have i encountered skilled drafters/designers with any level of formal training or understanding of pedagogical techniques. Actually, i can count them on the thumbs of one hand.

    Getting back to the OP, a worthwhile question you could pose to the local schools would be whether their curriculum is certified by the American Design Drafting Association, and if not, why not? ADDA is, AFAIK, the only organization that makes any effort or takes any interest in the education of professional drafters.
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    While I'm in agreement with BB that instructors should be capable and professionally competent in the industry, I'll take issue with the widely prevalent thinking that that expertise is all that's needed. Teaching is a skill set, and requires passion for teaching others -- not just passion for the subject. I've known many competent do-ers over the years, but only rarely has that competence included skill in transferring their knowledge to others, whether co-workers or students. and even more rarely have i encountered skilled drafters/designers with any level of formal training or understanding of pedagogical techniques. Actually, i can count them on the thumbs of one hand.

    Getting back to the OP, a worthwhile question you could pose to the local schools would be whether their curriculum is certified by the American Design Drafting Association, and if not, why not? ADDA is, AFAIK, the only organization that makes any effort or takes any interest in the education of professional drafters.
    My thoughts as well.
    Back when my husband was looking for work, he applied at a local tech school (which occasionally hosted our LUG meetings). They said they wanted to bring in fresh blood to guide them to being more modern and progressive, as their teachers had all been out of the industry for awhile, and they couldn't send them to AU, because that was generally when final projects and exams were wrapping up. So, of course, rather than hiring a guy very connected in the industry and up to date on a wide knowledge... they hired a guy who knew a bit of cad but was a really experienced teacher at that level... but barely seemed to understand how most software worked.
    One of their teachers had started using Inventor in his Mechanical class and all of those students were snapped up immediately... I told them (I was on their advisory board) that they needed to do the same with Revit, but, their teachers were all autocad folks.

    I digress... I can't make the advisory board meetings anymore, so I don't know what their curriculums look like these days.
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    Teaching is a skill set, and requires passion for teaching others -- not just passion for the subject.
    +1

    I coach and tutor youth, but have little to no interest in teaching adults in a classroom setting!
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    First off, CAD Tech does NOT equal draughtsman, but it's worrying to hear that CAD Tech does not even equal CAD Tech.
    I taught AutoCAD (specifically) for eight years - evenings and (some) weekends.
    My predecessors were all qualified teachers who actually knew half of sod all about CAD ... or about drafting for that matter.
    I packed it in because 1) I had a bad traffic accident and 2) the most important things at college were paperwork, schedules and "customer satisfaction surveys".
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    Teaching is a skill set, and requires passion for teaching others -- not just passion for the subject. I've known many competent do-ers over the years, but only rarely has that competence included skill in transferring their knowledge to others, whether co-workers or students. and even more rarely have i encountered skilled drafters/designers with any level of formal training or understanding of pedagogical techniques. Actually, i can count them on the thumbs of one hand.
    True to form, cadtag, this is an excellent point... I can only add that, 1) I wish I had thought to state it first, and 2) teaching others is a great way of solidifying what you [think you] already know, as you (ideally) become accountable for the information you're communicating... I know, I know, the whole 'personal responsibility' thing.
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    Default Re: What exactly is taught in current drafting classes?

    I don't have a lot of exposure to the market of current CAD techs or draftsmen But from things I've read (not just here) I get a sense that there is a general lack of high quality learning going on. I purposely use the term learning because that is a two part equation. The teacher and the student. It's my belief the teachers really need to get back to basics first and foremost. That is, the purpose of drafting (to communicate) and the language (orthographic view projection, purpose of line types and weights, etc.) The second part of the equation, the student, will learn best when given reason to learn and most of the knowledge will be self taught out of in borne curiosity and desire fortified by the teaching.

    It may be that the current state of affairs is a matter of students in class for all the wrong reasons. If they are just a warm body going in they will just be a warm body going out. Perhaps a little cooler.

    Edit; Interesting what the "similar threads" below displays.
    Last edited by duhvinci; 2014-03-06 at 05:41 PM.
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