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Thread: Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

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    Smile Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

    I've often thought about trying to become an AutoCAD instructor; either college or high school/trade school. Anyone have any advice on shifting careers at age 38 from a CAD Project manager to CAD instructor?

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    Member Cad Kat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

    Dear djohnson:

    At age 38 I changed careers. After 14 years of industry experience (mostly as a mechanical design engineer) I accepted a full time teaching position at a community college in their Design Technology department. I have taught the following courses; Beginning and Intermediate 2-D AutoCAD, Board Drafting, Mechanical Graphics, Shop Math, Statics, Strength of Materials, and Design Process. I also do quite a bit of student advising.

    I took an $18K salary cut to go from senior engineer to assistant professor. However, the rewards of my new career are much greater than the reduction in salary. I love teaching. I go to work with a smile on my face and look forward to providing a positive, quality learning experience for my students.

    As an engineer I constantly felt stressed-out. "Hurry up!" "Get it done!" "You're gonna finish it up this weekend - right!" I do feel stress as a professor but it is mostly brought on myself. I always strive for excellence and since I'm fairly new to the teaching profession I'm still on the learning curve. Tremendous reduction in stress. Tremendous amount of personal satisfaction as I see the students do well in class and thank me for caring about them.

    I taught while in graduate school. Then 11 years later I got a part time teaching position at a community college (night classes). A year later a full time position opened-up and I got it.

    My advice is go to the HR department of your local community/technical college and tell them you are looking for a part time teaching position. Make sure that teaching is "your thing" before you make the transition to full time. You should do this NOW as fall classes are only 5 weeks away. With some teaching experience you will be a much stronger candidate for a full time teaching position.

    To teach full time at most community colleges you should have a bachelors degree. They prefer masters degrees. However, an associates degree may be acceptable. At the community college level a teaching position is teaching and advising only. At the 4 year college and university levels it is teaching, advising, and research. I don't really know about the high school scene. I think you need a teacher's license?

    Bottom Line:
    I love teaching and find it very rewarding. I wish I went into teaching years ago.

    I hope this helps,

    Rob

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

    Another option is to become an Applications Engineer for your area reseller. They solve day to day computer problems, do implementations, study, and yes... they teach others how to use their design software. Its also a rather low stress job even if it can be very busy at times. Plus its a rather smooth transition from that to teaching in colleges if software isn't your thing (or vice-versa, its easier to get work for a reseller if you taught at a college).

    Regardless, the removal of stress is an amazing thing... it makes you feel much better about yourself and what you are doing. If you believe you'll enjoy teaching, go for it. You'll never regret it... unless you really enjoy design. Missing the design/creative environment is one of the biggest reasons teachers go back into the field (besides potential salary increases).
    Brian Myers
    Jacobs: VDC Design Office Lead (BIM Leadership)
    Visit my LinkedIn Profile for more information.

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    Member Chris Matira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

    i have been working a cad designer for the past 3 years now and during this, i also am teaching as a part time college instructor. (i teach acad, and the general engineering subjects).

    for me, teaching has become sort of a stress-reliever from what i am encountering as a designer. when i teach, i get a break from all the worries i have on my full time job.

    my advice, go for it. Teaching is the only profession that does not corrupt other people.

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    All AUGI, all the time Capt. Computer Crasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at moving into teaching, either college or high school/trade school.

    Quote Originally Posted by djohnson.92296
    I've often thought about trying to become an AutoCAD instructor; either college or high school/trade school. Anyone have any advice on shifting careers at age 38 from a CAD Project manager to CAD instructor?

    Your not alone. I too am think about a teaching career just to have a change of pace and I'm 36.

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