The benefits of CAD Training virtually or in the classroom

I have been an Authorised trainer on Autodesk applications for twenty years and I have been in technical training development since the mid 1980’s.

The benefits of CAD Training virtually or in the classroom

Looking at the changing times since I started, many delegates or trainees as we may call them have asked many questions about how CAD training may further their skills and job opportunities. The main question being, “Is it worth my expense to learn AutoCAD or 3D Studio Max or indeed many of the Autodesk applications?” They continue “Short courses are very expensive, maybe I’ll attend an evening class at the local tech college.”

I’ve had experience of working at technical schools overseas where they have adopted a project-based learning experience for the students. They may have two hours on a Thursday afternoon on 3ds max or AutoCAD or a two-hour slot one evening a week.

I often thought this was not a sustainable learning experience for preparation for a working life. It would be fine for a hobby or general interest but not preparation for a vocation. I am a vocational trainer; I look at the tools I have and use them on the job in hand. This is what training is. It is hands on problem solving as you go. Thinking on your feet as is often said. This is not education, it is training.

When I studied adult education in my CertEd I was told if you work with your hands to get a problem solved you are carrying out a vocational skill. If I am draughting in CAD or 3d modelling in 3ds max I am using tools in the application and my hands are using mouse and keyboard and possibly a 3d mouse to access those tools to build my model. This is just as it was when I was on a building site as a carpenter working in real life 3d, the only difference is that I am building in virtual 3d now. The tool choices are the same and that choice comes from using that application in live projects. This is what we would call experience.

ROI or Return On Investment very often indicates that quality hands on training is by far a positive investment in people and industry. I am not going to delve deeper into the studies made towards ROI in technical training, that is something that you can do with a simple internet search. But my experience in training in CAD and CGI over the years has shown that students and trainees have had consistent work through the practical skills gained on CAD training courses.

I am reminded of the time working in technical curricula development. My manager had a plaque on her wall that said, “if you think training is expensive, try the cost of ignorance”. This simple short statement has resonated with me for twenty years or more, as a very true and profound statement. I have spoken with former delegates on my courses and most say they are still in CAD or CGI.

Having a focused three- or four-days CAD training course dedicated to a new learning challenge will enhance transferable skills. Assimilating that skill in a dedicated short course embeds the knowledge allowing you to move forward with the skills gained. Evening classes and short one- or two-hour slots will not allow that gained knowledge to be embedded in the mind or as I say assimilate the knowledge.

In that evening course, time is needed to catchup up on where you left off in the previous hour that was perhaps a week ago. This of course dilutes the focused knowledge.

With all that said, during this time, we have transformed our training courses into half day sessions. A 3-day course has been adapted to 6 half day sessions. Delegates have taken to this, with the ability to continue to work in between sessions – allowing them to put their new skills to good use right away.

A CAD training course carried over three or four days (or even 6 continuous half days) helps delegates with work opportunities. Having an Autodesk Authorised trainer carry out your training course and receiving an Autodesk certificate certainly adds to your CV for a job or indeed CPD within your present position. Many industries are looking to have their technical staff trained with approved Autodesk trainers. This is so that they are proficient in the application that they will be using in a day to day environment. They attend an AutoCAD, Revit, or 3D Studio course because that is what they will use in their work.

But it’s not just about learning new skills, it is also about the benefits of learning with others. The dynamics of attending a classroom course enables collaboration and allows delegates to support each other. Skills are developed, knowledge is shared, and questions are asked – all furthering the experience and providing richer skills.

Here at Symetri I am very proud to be part of a team of incredible professionals that have a wealth of technical knowledge. This experience carries over to the training. Our team is focused on working with the Autodesk application in a work situation. The training therefore supports your workflow and we understand how the application will work in your day to day challenges.

Attending an Authorised training course with the team at Symetri means that you are not just attending a course but receiving practical advice and support for real world situations. The team are training you through their experience in advising tried and tested workflows or even work arounds that are part of an experienced understanding of the applications.

Take a look at our full range of CAD training courses here.

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