The Break Room (Non-Technical Discussions)
Non-technical discussions will be held here to give community members a chance to connect and get to know one another.

The Break Room (Non-Technical Discussions)

Reply
Visitor
rodwillis
Posts: 0
Registered: ‎03-19-2014
Message 1 of 10 (360 Views)

Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

360 Views, 9 Replies
03-19-2014 08:24 AM

Hi people

 

This is my 1st post .so please be gentle and I hope I have put this in the right forum

 

I have just completed a NVQ level 2 course in 2D CAD and for the 1st time in many years have found something I loved doing.

 

I understand my questions are a bit abstract but I would truly appreciate some advice, my  question is I would like to pursue a career with CAD / design but am unsure what direction to take or indeed how to take a path I choose.

 

The traditional way seems to be in Architecture / engineering but as I am a "mature student" these options will involve getting a degree in those subjects, which in itself isn't a problem (bar the expense) but there seems to be so many people that will have these qualifications the competition would make employment / self employment quite difficult.

 

I was thinking of combining an Open University course in Engineering, Technology and Design & Autodesk inventor but stuff like 3D Modeling looks very intriguing

 

In a nutshell any advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Rod

 

Distinguished Contributor
Wanderer-MOTD
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎03-04-2004
Message 2 of 10 (318 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

03-26-2014 11:07 AM in reply to: rodwillis
I think that's a question we all have pondered at some point.

I thought I'd go mechanical (like mfg), but, ended up in FM/MEP.
Retooling later, I ended up moving into more of an IT role, and not into design at all. It is whatever feels right to you at the time, I guess.

There have been some discussions here and in the AUGI forums about it (like, there are more than twice as many people servicing commercial than residential etc)
I think the only advice I can really give is to maybe check out the AUGI Survey. Well, shoot, there's me slacking, I haven't put the 2013 survey on the Archive page yet.

I think you should be able to access the September issue of AUGIWorld Magazine to see it until I get around to uploading the file.
http://www.augi.com/augiworld/september-2013/

Pages 34 & 35 in that issue give a little information on which specialties pay the most and which market susbspecialities are the largest portion of their industries.

Learning something more niche will make you an attractive candidate, even without formal education.
Once you pick a niche, then you can ask which tools are used to serve it and learn them.
Melanie Perry
***not all those who wander are lost***
http://AUGI.com/Surveys
http://MistressOfTheDorkness.blogspot.com

My defunct profiles:
http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/651859
http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/644095
Distinguished Mentor
steven-g
Posts: 637
Registered: ‎05-11-2009
Message 3 of 10 (286 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

03-30-2014 09:52 PM in reply to: rodwillis

At 45 I put myself through a nightschool course to get something on paper, after working on site as a joiner. The only problem I have had finding work, is 'when can you start'. the last time at age 51, I left the interview with a contract. In my experience it is the experience outside of cad that employers find the most interesting. You didn't mention your previous employment, but I would say try and find something where your previuos work and experience can be put to use. 

Regards Steven Gray
Setting Out (Joinery Manufacturing)
Autocad 2013LT
Windows 7 professional
*Pro
steve216586
Posts: 1,039
Registered: ‎07-10-2007
Message 4 of 10 (264 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-02-2014 07:38 AM in reply to: rodwillis

Similar to Steven-G's. I did civilian and military construction for over 20 years. I went to a technical school and earned an Associates in CAD Technology at 40. 

 

You don't need to seek a BS in engineering to do what you love. You have to look at the time and money you will put into the degree and compare it to the return on your future income. The return is far greater the younger you are and more years you can work. At 40, I didn't see that break even point, going to traditional route, until I was into my late 50's. Hardly worth going that route. I needed an edge to enter the CAD field "running" and not just "crawling or walking" as someone in their 20's might.

 

If you are truly looking for CAD/Design work and not just redlining an engneer's work, use your experience on your resume as the focal point. Let the education be a side note or bonus for the employer. Place emphasis on your leadership or ability to work with others, whichever is appropriate for the position you are applying for.

 

Starting out, I placed a lot of emphasis on teamwork and taking orders easily. Being ex-military, that was an easy sell at the interview.  After all, you're not starting at the top and employers don't want others to feel inferior if they hire you. Once you get in the door, then you can let your initiative and life strengths promote you before others.

 

I wish you "good luck!"

 

 

Visitor
rodwillis
Posts: 0
Registered: ‎03-19-2014
Message 5 of 10 (252 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-02-2014 01:39 PM in reply to: rodwillis

Hi

 

Thank you Melanie, Steven & Steve for the replies they have been very helpfull, the problem is I am looking to go in a completely new direction, my past career was as a commercial diver and is a path I have left. Since returning to the UK I have been working as a painter / tiler (as diving qualifications, experience & skills don't transfer well into the general job market) I don't want to stay in this line of work.

 

Looks like I will go down the product design route

 

Again thanks for the help

Valued Contributor
riff62
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎02-25-2009
Message 6 of 10 (212 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-09-2014 04:21 AM in reply to: rodwillis
Throwing in my .02.. I was in the AF here in the US, as an EOD tech....(Explosive Ordnance Disposal) so I know what you mean when you talk about skills not transferring very well...haha.. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade, and worked as a painter for a time..That lead to a career in building maintenance, and I eventually landed at a Biotech company doing that. I took over the Maintenance Dept and ended up as process engineering manager. Never had a college course in anything related to engineering, but I could design stuff that worked, which was important. I was laid off after 8 yrs there, and found out I had a brain tumor. This was in the same week. During recovery for the tumor removal, I decided to get an engineering degree. I still had to work, because I needed to support my family. My design skills got me a great position at an Ivy League university, where I will be finishing up my degree someday. I design things for the particle accelerator projects going on here. I don't need a degree really in my current position, so now it has become something I just want to do for me. When I graduate in a few years, I will have amassed enough credits for 2 degrees most likely. Once you get to a certain point experience wise, the need for formal training falls off. Currently, I work full time and take classes full time. My point in all of this is that if you continue to grow, and learn, you never know where you will end up. I couldn't have envisioned the life I have even 5 yrs ago..At 51, things are looking up. If I can do it, anyone can. A high school dropout designing particle accelerators?...lol
Distinguished Contributor
Wanderer-MOTD
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎03-04-2004
Message 7 of 10 (195 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-11-2014 02:01 PM in reply to: riff62
wow, that is really cool.
Melanie Perry
***not all those who wander are lost***
http://AUGI.com/Surveys
http://MistressOfTheDorkness.blogspot.com

My defunct profiles:
http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/651859
http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/644095
Visitor
rodwillis
Posts: 0
Registered: ‎03-19-2014
Message 8 of 10 (191 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-13-2014 06:06 AM in reply to: riff62

Hi riff62

 

Thanks for the post, I have tried to reply but for some reason the forum keeps dumping my posts. It's interesting to come across someone with such a different background to me but yet in many ways so similar. The one issue I have here in the UK is that this country has gone down the path of certification is everything so opportunities are now limited, I will go down the engineering design route I think even if it's too late career wise it's always good to keep learning.

 

Do you have a Twitter a/c, if so let me know your Twitter name & I will follow or you can follow me on @kernowrod 

 

Cheers

 

Rod

Valued Contributor
riff62
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎02-25-2009
Message 9 of 10 (187 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-13-2014 07:12 AM in reply to: rodwillis
Hi Rod..
Thanks for your response..I suppose you are doing the right thing by getting your cert. If it will help you be employed. I can imagine that past experience will count for something when you are done. For example, you could take your knowledge of diving, and get involved with a company geared toward that sort of thing. Good luck with whatever you decide on doing..
I agree, never stop learning..doesn't matter how old you are or what you do..as long as you like showing up to work every day, that's what counts..money should be secondary to that in my opinion...
I am not on Twitter...I will look into it though..I have been meaning to anyway...all these new fangled things...I can't keep up..I'm lucky I can remember my own name most days,let alone 5 or 6 online screen names...haha...on Facebook, linkdin, google plus, etc...
Take care..

Matt
Valued Contributor
riff62
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎02-25-2009
Message 10 of 10 (184 Views)

Re: Advice needed For A Slightly Abstract Question

04-13-2014 07:34 AM in reply to: rodwillis
Thank you...oh, and one more things just recently learned...I am supposed to be promoted soon to a position that is usually given to candidates with a BS in engineering. I guess I am doing a good job designing so this is the next step in the food chain. Will let you know how it all works out...this is just another surreal turn in my career...lol
Post to the Community

Have questions about Autodesk products? Ask the community.

New Post
Announcements
Do you have 60 seconds to spare? The Autodesk Community Team is revamping our site ranking system and we want your feedback! Please click here to launch the 5 question survey. As always your input is greatly appreciated.