Best School for CAD Drafting - San Jose, CA

There are six not-for-profit schools within 50 miles of San Jose that have CAD drafting programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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San Jose CAD Drafting Schools

The San Jose, California, area is home to several schools that offer degree and certificate programs related to computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting. Read about three of these schools, all of which are less than a 45-minute drive from downtown San Jose. This article also features a table that highlights important school information, as well as a short paragraph discussing four other school options in the area.

  • De Anza College is located approximately 12 miles from downtown San Jose and offers a certificate program in computer-aided design.
  • Cabrillo College, which is located 36 miles away in Aptos, offers certificate programs in architecture drafting and design skills, civil/survey drafting skills and computer-aided drafting and design skills.
  • Located about 10 miles from downtown San Jose, Evergreen Valley College is a 2-year public school offering an associate's degree and five certificates in CAD.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Architectural Drafting and Design
  • CAD Drafting and Design Technology
  • Civil Engineering Drafting and Design
  • Mechanical Drafting and Design

Comparison of Schools

It can sometimes be hard to choose the right school. Use the table below to compare schools and make an informed decision.

De Anza College Cabrillo College Evergreen Valley College
School Type 2-year, public* 2-year, public* 2-year, public*
Total Enrollment (2017) 20,674* 11,836* 9,575*
Campus Setting Small city* Midsize suburb* Large city*
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,552 for in-state and $8,752 for out-of-state students* $1,268 for in-state and $7,028 for out-of-state students* $1,356 for in-state and $7,852 for out-of-state students*
Percent of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 44%* 68%* 63%
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 80%* 72%* 74%*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2014) 62%* 26%* 32%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

De Anza College

In addition to a certificate program in CAD drafting, De Anza College offers courses in basic and intermediate CAD use and in specific CAD software programs. All of these opportunities are available through the college's Design and Manufacturing Technologies Department, and many can be completed entirely online.

Computer-Aided Design - Mechanical, Certificate of Achievement

This 18-credit hour program provides instruction in using SolidWorks and Creo Paramentric programs and prepares graduates to assume positions as drafters or technicians in industrial and mechanical engineering. Classes cover the beginning and intermediate usage of these two software programs.

Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College offers three certificate programs in CAD, as well as a related certificate program and associate's degree program that include instruction in CAD. These programs are offered through the engineering technology department of the college's Natural and Applied Sciences Division.

Architecture Drafting and Design Skills Certificate

This program requires 15-16 credit hours of study. Classes cover topics like AutoCAD and ArchiCAD, civil and land development CAD, digital graphics and blueprint reading.

Civil/Survey Drafting Skills Certificate

This 7-credit hour program includes instruction in AutoCAD and civil and land development CAD. Upon graduation, students are able to design and draft a civil survey plan.

Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Skills Certificate

Students in this program must complete 12-13 credit hours of study. Classes in the program cover topics like basic and advanced AutoCAD, 3-dimensional solid modeling, InDesign use, computer-aided manufacturing and digital graphics.

Evergreen Valley College

Evergreen Valley College offers several computer-aided drafting and design programs through its Division of Business & Workforce Development. Each of the programs prepares students to create designs and technical drawings for industrial and commercial endeavors.

Certificate of Specialization - CADD Technology, AutoCAD

This 7-unit program covers the fundamentals of AutoCAD as well as mechanical desktop basics and Autodesk Inventor. Students must earn a grade of a 'C' or higher to earn the certificate.

Certificate of Specialization - CADD Technology, Mechanical Modeling

This certificate program covers the same basic topics as the AutoCAD certificate program but also includes a 2-unit course on Solidworks. It is comprised of 11 units overall.

Certificate of Specialization - CADD Technology, Digital Prototyping

This 10-unit program teaches students how to use CADD applications in order to complete basic mechanical design and drafting functions. Students have the option to learn Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks or Mechanical Desktop.

Certificate of Specialization - CADD Technology, Architectural CADD

Students must only complete six units to earn this certificate. In addition to basic architectural CADD applications, students learn about creating landscaping and design projects with CADD.

Certificate of Specialization - CADD Technology, 3D CADD

This 6-unit certificate program covers just Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor and Mechanical Desktop. Students also have the option to study advanced Autodesk Inventor.

Associate in Science in Computer Aided Design & Drafting

This 60-credit program includes major requirements, general education requirements and electives. Some of the core courses cover CADD applications, AutoCAD and Microsoft Office. Students can also choose from electives in CADD landscaping, document management, AutoCAD software updates and Solidworks software updates.

Other School Options

The City College of San Francisco is located nearly 40 miles from San Jose. It offers CAD certificate programs as well as engineering technology degree programs with CAD courses. Located just 27 miles away, the College of San Mateo offers an associate's degree and two certificates in CAD and drafting technology. The 2-year, public Hartnell College is located about 47 miles away in Salinas and offers certificate programs in both architectural and mechanical drafting and design. Finally, located about 40 miles from San Jose in Oakland, Laney College offers CAD courses through its architectural and engineering technology degree and certificate programs.

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