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Newbie Corner? - we'd rather not bother you


futuremillionaire

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futuremillionaire

Hi everyone, this is my first post. I have been reading threads on this forum for a couple days and let me say you seem like a great network of people. (so please hear me out, it's a little long)

 

I know CAD"Tutor" implies the forum is for students and longterm users (from what i can see one in the same) of CAD and Autodesk products and what seems to onlookers like 100 other design softwares.

 

Many of you claim to be newbies however I am a "true" newbie trying to resist asking generic and unresearched questions such as "Is there a demand for CAD Operators?" I understand this is bad forum etiquette and wastes the time of those of you helping serious members in need.

 

HERE'S MY SUGGESTION- Maybe a section for me. jk. I just know you prob get a lot of visitors like myself who have an interest in a CAD career but really know nothing about it. (I should say "nothing about any of the hundreds of them.") Rather than burden yourselves with the constant need of requesting newbies to search deeper within the forum or refering them to Google's homepage you could expand your educational mission by creating a section for them.

 

Why bother? People interested in CAD could quickly navigate their possibilities without posting a question about career advise in the "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" section, or telling about their invention idea in the "Inventor" section.

 

HERE'S WHAT ONE "TRUE" NEWBIE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW:

( Not asking for answers, just to show the challenges of the clueless)

 

Can I be a CAD operator?... Many would say "yes, if you want to" but I cannot know that without first understanding the differences of each discipline of CAD, the many various types of jobs that come from each, the demand and security of those jobs, the educational requirements, the average salaries, job satisfaction, and just plain definitions of what the heck these jobs really are!

 

Me just for example: I am an artist and would love to think I could school and then enter the field in an entry level position helping create polished 3d renderings for any type of company. But does an interior design or advertising firm, or manufacturing company reserve these positions for more experienced operators who have paid there dues working on less creative renderings using simpler software?

 

What will i really be getting myself into?

 

Again, these questions are just for illustrating my point so please don't feel the need to answer specifically or remove my post. Thanks.

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MaxwellEdison

First off, welcome to the forums.

 

I think all of these questions/topics would be welcome in the Beginner's Area. Or was your aim more for a page with information for all those considering CAD. A sort of 'What you should know before you decide to be a CAD User' FAQ? The problem with FAQs though (If that is indeed what you're looking for) is that they only work when people read them. I think you'd find that there would be just as many posts pointing people to that FAQ page as there are to Google and Forum search results.

 

Also, this industry is again changing rapidly, and following out of date information could potentially be worse than just flying blind. I think the best thing about this forum is its dynamic and multi-disciplined. The information and opinions expressed here may follow a general trend, but they may vary widely on any topic.

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futuremillionaire

Good points Maxwell. You're prob right about people continuing to post basic questions before reading a little. (The section would need to be at the top of the main page)

 

Yes, a 'What you need to know before deciding to become a CAD user' or even a 'What you need to know before deciding to start a CAD career' section is exactly what I mean. Not so much in a FAQ format however. I think a largish group of well chosen and catagorized stickys with specific information pertaining to one aspect of the larger world of CAD would serve well. Helpful links to other topic relevant threads and websites could adventually be layed out in a way that could "help" navigate an interested individual through their decision making process.

 

I know this would be a daunting task to have the threads in an order that takes a reader from "what does a CAD operator do?" to " I want to work in the aerospace industry" but any sort of career guide would be an awsome resourse for many ambitious people like myself.

 

Anyway, thanks for inviting me to post in the beginners section but i think i could ask 20 questions and still be lost at this point. I'll continue reading and definately will be posting some questions. I am very interested in the possibility of having a career in CAD. Thanks again.

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Can I be a CAD operator?... Many would say "yes, if you want to" ...

 

Yes --> With lots of perseverence, patience, and coffee :P

 

But on a more serious note - its a great thing to get into. I am at university at the moment doing a master degree in maths, but before I started here, I took a gap year between doing my A-levels and worked in the CAD business for that year.

 

I was dumped in the deep end a bit at the start and had to pick up things quickly for fear of doing something wrong - but, when you work things out for yourself, that is often the best way to learn something - it sticks better that way. :)

 

But halfway through the year, someone showed me a LISP file and I was so amazed at how much time these simple custom programs could save, that I decided to try to write my own. And from then on, I was hooked... now, I just write the LISP for fun - helping out people from all over the world save time in their businesses, in my spare time when I am not bogged under with differential calculus... :P

 

But thats enough about me... I would say: if you want it, try it - if you find its something you like then you will be motivated to learn it, and, to be honest, that is all you need - motivation, and you'll go far.

 

Enough wise words from me.

 

Merry Christmas. o:)

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All I can say is welcome mr. futuremillionaire to CADTutor. Ask all the questions you want in any forum you want. We will do our best to answer them. You are sure to get many different replies and some arguement as well. There are a number of very talented people here, from all over the world, male and female, young and a bit older than young(?), working in a variety of fields with a multitude of software. You can't turn a corner around here without bumping into an expert. And the best thing is the advice is free and it is from actual users and not some dorky programmer locked away in a cubicle 23 hours a day. Real people with real knowledge. Priceless.

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Hi and Welcome :)

 

And like ReMark said, just ask the questions you have. I think we prefer that you do a search first, but I know the trouble of trying to search for something that you don't know what to search for. In those cases, just ask. If you are polite in your questions, you'll get polite answers.

 

And about you wanting information abou the industry in large. That is both hard and easy. It's hard because it will soon be obsolete, and we are (really!) from all over the world here, so what I think are excellent advice could have no relevance at all for you. But it's easy because there are so many of us here, so if you just ask a question, it's bound to be someone here that has an answer for you.

 

This is not a bulletin board for information, this is a forum, and it only works if people as questions. So Ask Away!

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Attila The Gel

A warm welcome.

 

Learn first and specialize later

I never thought that I was gonna be a Cad operator, I learned it because I was interested in the software and drawing! But look at me now! I'm a CAD operator almost a year now! Yesterday I finished the Inventor course! I'm not gonna use it now but if anybody asks if I can work with it the answers not gonna be 'No'. also there is plenty of free space left in everyones brains. So why not... you know "Nike-it" (Just do it.)

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.Learn first and specialize later

 

Thats some good advice - learn the basics and the general skills needed, then decide which area you would like to specialise in. Widen your horizons.

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futuremillionaire

Thank you everyone for your warm welcomes and good advise. I am definately going to to hang around here and try to learn as much as I can. I think it is good advise that one should learn the basics before specializing however in my current circumstances I need to start out with a little more vision.

 

I am a 30 yr old husband and father of two who has come into financial crisis. My generous grandparents have taken my whole family into their home so we now have the advantageous ability to work only part time and go to school so as to gain the financial security of a professional career. (in our current economic state, that is where I must use some caution before just leaping into a dream career)

 

My whole life I have done skilled labor within various construction industries and of course never truly enjoyed my work. I am looking to start an education that will lead to a job I will actually enjoy however financial stability for my family is my 1st priority.

 

Since childhood I have been a naturally talented artist and truly enjoy creative and innovative thinking. I hope I can find a stable career that lines up with my talents and personality. My search has only just begun but I will use this forum as a valuable help. Thank you all again and I look forward to posting some more specific questions.

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MaxwellEdison

The CAD industry as a whole is a fairly steady one. Individual specialties will take a hit here and there however. For an example, many drafting positions in residential construction have taken a hit with the current housing slump, but civil positions seem poised to grow or at least hold steady as public works projects are proposed to help stimulate the economies. All of that could change in the next 6 months, let alone the 2 years most associates degree programs take, so studying the varied disciplines is to your advantage.

 

Your experience is another thing to consider, it can either work for you or against you, varying company to company. Many companies will value the perspective that experience will give you, but may not offer you the salary you seek due to a lack of drafting experience. Similarly, some companies may prefer hiring inexperienced draftsmen as they have the chance to mold them as they see fit, these may be concerned that your 'field time' will lead to you being reluctant to "think outside the box" relying more on a "well this is how I always did it" attitude.

 

Perhaps you may want to consider mechanical or industrial design as a change of pace or a chance to let your creative juices flow. No matter which field you decide on however you will still need to build a solid base so focus early on learning the tools of the trade. The CAD programs and especially the principles of technical drawing and proper design.

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futuremillionaire

Everyone, I know this thread is getting a little off topic so thank you for meeting me at my need. If it is ok I will continue here so long as I recieve new posts but will try to start other threads as I narrow my focus.

 

Maxwell, thanks for the advise. I will take a closer look at mechanical and industrial design as an option(s?). It is going to take a lot more reading for me to find my niche in the industry I know, but I am starting to get pretty excited at the thought of developing the skills nessesary (slowly I know) for me to start chasing that ultimate dream job! I only need to make sure I can make a paycheck along the way!

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MaxwellEdison

My goal isn't to be rich, but to be comfortable. You won't make the "big bucks" of an engineer or architect, but you can do alright. Try a salary calculator to see if the average wages will suit your families needs.

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The AutoCAD Users Group International has had an annual salary survey for the past few years if you are interested. Start by visiting www.augi.com. Some will argue that it is not truely indicative of the real world because of the lack of response in different areas. My advice is to use it to establish ballpark figures. Your mileage may vary.

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futuremillionaire

Thanks again guys. I checked those links out and they are definately acceptable salaries for my families needs. My wife is also going to leave her full time role as a stay at home mother and start school to become a nurse. She happens also to be an artist and is really jealous at the idea that I might get to spend my work day doing some sort of design work. She feels that nursing is the surest and safest career and loves the idea of being able to help people in their time of need (we and our children were just in a very bad car accident which we were lucky to live through), however I am trying to tell her she can find a stable career doing something she would enjoy. She would love either interior or web design but I'm not sure if there is just too much competition in those fields.

 

I'll keep going in my search and sure appreciate all your input!

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