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.
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.
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!"
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
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
Access a broad range of knowledge to help get the most out of your products and services.