Individuals looking to gain instruction in CAD (computer-aided design) through a college program in Ohio have several options. The most direct way is to pursue a certificate program that focuses specifically on how to use CAD. Students looking to learn about computer-aided design and pursue a career where CAD is utilized might consider degree programs in architecture or mechanical engineering.
CAD courses or concentrations are available within these larger degree programs. Students receive hands-on experience through labs or practicum courses. Co-op experiences may also be available.
Central Ohio Technical College
While attending Newark's Central Ohio Technical College, students can learn CAD through a certificate program in engineering technology that specializes in computer-aided drafting. Graduates can become entry-level CAD drafters.
Students can also earn this certificate as part of a larger associate degree program in engineering technology with an architectural engineering major. Students in this program take basic and advanced courses in CAD, while also learning about green design, architectural history and structural design through hands-on and lab courses.
Columbus State Community College
This community college in Columbus features an architectural CAD drafting certificate program through which students learn to use AutoCAD and MicroStation software. Students complete seven credits to earn this certificate.
Students can also gain CAD training through the college's associate degree program in architecture. Besides exploring CAD and AutoCAD, students learn to use 3-D modeling software. In addition, they study project coordination and the building design process. Other course topics include manual drafting, working drawings and sustainable design. Student organizations in the school include the Columbus State Architectural Student Association. Graduates can start off with CAD positions before moving on to such jobs as drafters, project managers or consultants.
Lakeland Community College
Lakeland Community College is found in Kirtland and features an AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology program with a CAD concentration. Students in this concentration take courses in topics such as AutoCAD, mechanism design, materials processing, physics, quality concepts and fixture design. Students who do not pursue the concentration would still take an introductory class in AutoCAD.
The college also has programs that award an AutoCAD operator certificate and CAD design certificate. The former consists of three courses, while the latter requires five courses. While ABET, formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, has accredited the mechanical engineering technology program, the CAD concentration program is not accredited by this group.
Northwest State Community College
Archbold's Northwest State Community College offers an AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology program with a CAD/CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) major. Students can also earn a CAD certificate.
Studies in the degree program are focused on design interpretation, production machine operation and tooling. Once they've completed the 2-year degree program, students can go on to earn a bachelor's degree. Some of the higher-level coursework in the certificate program can be applied to the associate program.
Owens Community College
Owens Community College, which has its main campus in Perrysburg, offers AAS in CAD Technology and CAD certificate programs at its Toledo and Findlay campuses. Degree program courses include CAD electronic drawing, production drawing, parametric modeling, 3-D wireframes and machining. Graduates have completed 68-70 credits.
Students pursuing the CAD certificate must complete 17 credits. Before beginning the last semester of this programs, students must present a petition for degree or certificate completion, which is done online.
Shawnee State University
The AAS in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design program at Portsmouth's Shawnee State University prepares individuals for careers as technical illustrators, draftspersons and engineering designers. Courses include CAD presentation, engineering drawing, small building design and fluid power. The university also offers a computer-aided drafting and design minor.
Stark State College
At North Canton's Stark State College, students can take courses in AutoCAD software as part of associate degree programs in civil engineering technology, design engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology or electronic engineering technology. Depending on the program, students complete 61-63 credits to graduate. Graduates of the civil and mechanical engineering program can move into bachelor's degree programs at the University of Akron. All four programs are accredited by ABET.
Terra State Community College
Terra State Community College is found in Fremont and offers an AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology program that includes two courses in CAD as part of the technical concentration. Students learn about the strength of materials, statics and other traditional engineering courses, while learning to apply their CAD knowledge to present drawings and designs. Possible careers for graduates include CAD technician, CAM technician and process engineer. Students who would rather not go straight into the workforce can go on to earn a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology.
University of Toledo
The ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science program in mechanical engineering offered at this university in Toledo includes core coursework in CAD. The program also includes a co-op experience. Students learn about material science, engineering dynamics, manufacturing processes and mechanical vibration. By completing lab experiences, students learn to read data and make measurements on that data.
Graduates of architecture or mechanical engineering programs might need to gain state licensing to work in those fields.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||CAD Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Central Ohio Technical College||2-year, public; small suburb|| Certificate in Engineering Technology - Architectural CAD,
AAS in Engineering Technology - Architectural Engineering Major
| $4,296 in-state,
|Columbus State Community College||2-year, public; large city|| Architectural CAD Drafting Certificate,
AAS in Architecture
| $3,808 in-state,
|Lakeland Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology - Computer-Aided Design Concentration,
CAD Design Certificate,
AutoCAD Operator Certificate
| $3,316 in-district,
|Northwest State Community College||2-year, public; distant rural|| AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a CAD/CAM Major,
Computer-Aided Design Certificate
| $3,989 in-state,
|Owens Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| AAS in CAD Technology,
| $4,233 in-state,
|Shawnee State University||4-year, public; fringe town|| AAS in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design,
Minor in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
| $7,364 in-state,
|Stark State College||2-year, public; large suburb||AAS in Design Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering Technology or Electronic Engineering Technology|| $3,686 in-state,
|Terra State Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology - Technical Concentration|| $4,284 in-state,
|University of Toledo||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering|| $9,547 in-state,
Source: *NCES College Navigator.