Schools with Solidworks Training Programs: How to Choose

Dec 08, 2019

Standalone courses and CAD programs that include Solidworks training can be found at many 2- and 4-year colleges. CAD programs can lead to a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree.

Undergraduate Programs With Solidworks Training

Programs in computer aided design or industrial technology are offered by these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition(2018-2019)*
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $2,142 in-state, $7,458 out-of-state
University of West Florida Pensacola, FL 4-year, Public Standalone Course Free for qualified applicants
Austin Community College Austin, TX 2-year, Public Standalone Course $896**
University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA 4-year, Public Certificate $14,167 in-state, $43,159 out-of-state
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $16,740 in-state, $23,880 out-of-state
Portland Community College Portland, OR 2-year, Public Certificate $4,340 in-state, $9,200 out-of-state
Laney College Oakland, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $1,254 in-state, $7,806 out-of-state
St. Petersburg College Clearwater, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate $2,682 in-state, $9,286 out-of-state
Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus Fontana, CA <2-year, Public Standalone Course N/A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Standalone course N/A

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); **School Websites (2019)

School Selection Criteria

Here are some things to consider when looking for SolidWorks training courses at postsecondary institutions:

  • Not all CAD programs include courses that cover SolidWorks. Interested students should carefully evaluate the school's curriculum before enrolling.
  • Prospective students may want to find out if the school offers the SolidWorks software free of charge, or if students need to purchase it themselves.
  • Since many SolidWorks courses are offered as part of broader CAD programs, it is important for prospective students to make sure that the rest of the program coincides with their educational interests and career goals.
  • Prospective students who are considering certificates and noncredit courses should find out how many hours are dedicated to SolidWorks training, as it can vary widely between programs.

Standalone Courses

For students who just want to take a single course in SolidWorks, some schools offer standalone training courses in the use of this software. Students learn about the basic functionality of this automatic drawing software and its applications in industry. Topics of study include drawing creation, dimensional changes, geometric calculations, 3D rendering and element analysis. It is important to note that these programs may not confer college credits.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in computer-aided drafting/design (CAD) cover the basics of the field, and some include specific courses in SolidWorks. In total, they usually take one year or less to complete. Upon completion, students who finish a CAD certificate are prepared for entry-level drafting and design jobs.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs in CAD provide a broad introduction to drafting, as well as general education courses. In some programs, students can choose to study SolidWorks through elective courses. In others, an advanced SolidWorks course is a core requirement for students who declare a specific concentration, such as mechanical/electro-mechanical drafting. Associate's degree programs usually take two years of full-time study to complete.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A few schools offer bachelor's degree programs that cover CAD and include courses in SolidWorks. In these four-year programs, students gain technical skills in CAD while also completing general education requirements. These programs also cover the business and legal aspects of the manufacturing industry so that graduates are prepared for professional success in careers related to industrial product design.

SolidWorks training is available through standalone courses, certificate programs and undergraduate degree programs. Students can choose between the different training options based on their educational goals and career aspirations.

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