Although online CADD programs are more typically offered at the associate's degree level, students can find online bachelor's degree programs in CADD-related subjects, like graphic design and engineering design technology. The majority of the coursework for these programs is delivered online, but some programs require in-person components, including internships. The program may prepare graduates for jobs in graphic design or desktop publishing. A minimum computer speed and memory, along with specific software applications will be needed.
Bachelor's Degree - Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
Computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) programs are generally a component of a school's information technology department. In these programs, students learn to plan, implement and maintain a company's website needs and create animation and graphics for technical drawings and plans. There are generally no specific prerequisites to beginning study in a CADD bachelor's degree program, other than those typically associated with enrolling in an undergraduate program.
Information and Requirements
Online CADD bachelor's degree programs are typically 4-year programs. However, bachelor's degree completion programs for students who have already earned an associate's degree in a related field, such as art, design or communication, only require an additional two years of study.
Because of the highly technical nature of such programs, most schools have specific computer requirements for students. Usually, these requirements consist of minimum computer speed and memory, as well as specific software applications. These requirements are not universal, but are set independently by the school.
List of Common Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Courses
Students in CADD bachelor's degree programs must complete general education and CADD-specific coursework. Most CADD programs include classes on the history and principles of graphic design and the ethical considerations of Web design.
This course introduces students to hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS), used in Web design. Students also learn to integrate images into websites. A portion of this course is dedicated to basic scripting and data storage for technical drawings and plans. Sometimes this course is divided into two sections.
Students in this course learn the basics of hand-drawing still and moving objects and transferring these skills into graphic design in various media forms. This course also provides instruction in the essentials of creating plans for toys, buildings and utilities. The emphasis for these technical plans is on readability, understandability and three-dimensional presentation.
The focus of this course is on the use of multiple types of database software applications. Students learn how various databases can be used and manipulated and which applications work best for different projects. This class focuses more on the technical aspects of computer-aided drafting and design.
Prior to graduation, most CADD bachelor's degree programs require students to design, implement and maintain a website according to a company's needs and specifications. Many times this course is combined with an internship, during which time the student gains hands-on experience in CADD and completes the graduate project.
Graduates of a CADD bachelor's degree program may work as graphic designers or desktop publishers. Graphic designers create and modify a website's content, graphics and performance. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates demand for graphic designers to develop 1% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). In 2015, graphic designers earned an average yearly salary of $51,640. A desktop publisher creates the graphics that accompany text on a website. Demand for these positions, however, is expected to decline 21% between 2014 and 2024. In 2015, desktop publishers earned an average salary of $43,900.
Continuing Education Information
There are no specific continuing education requirements for graduates of CADD bachelor's degree programs employed in the computer drafting and design field. However, the Certified Internet Web Professional Program and the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering offer certificates that identify a student as competent in Internet technology basics. These programs are voluntary, but may assist a student in obtaining an entry-level position.
Graduates of an online program related to computer-aided drafting and design will have the skills to create websites and technical plans, operate database applications and utilize digital graphics. An internship and capstone project have to be completed.