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Complete Beginner at 50! Retrain for a new career?

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As the title states.

I'm currently a Welder/Fabricator, bored and would love a total change. Autocad looks very interesting, very early days for my research and not sure what actual industry i'm interested in yet, but not that bothered at the moment just want a career change. I have seen there are fast track courses in London, i.e Beginner to intermediate to advanced.

What cerification would you gain/need for serious job oppertunities?

At 50 its kind of scary, am i being unrealisic and dreaming? is this possible?

Many Thanks in advance.

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I did start my working life on the drawing board, but drifted into building as a site joiner, and at 47 decided it was time to look at drawing again. I took an evening course in Autocad (1 year) at a local college, never having used a computer to do CAD, which got me used to the basics. And after that started looking for work drafting, my first interview resulted in a job offer, not because I knew Autocad, but because I knew the practicle side and had hands on experience, and in every job since it is the practical experience that is what sells you. The last time I found a new job was 2 years ago at 56 years old and in a foreign country, it took 2 weeks from leaving one place to find and start somewhere new. So go for it, try and find a local evening course, these crash courses are fine but expensive and short, part time evening courses give you the time to let it sink in and practice and are a lot cheaper.

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I'd recommend looking at one of the MCAD programs like Inventor or Solidworks. Another option would be Revit but it might help if you had some idea about what field you would potentially like to work in.

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I'm never a fan of certification, from past experience of recruiting I found it counts for very little other than knowing someone has paid to do a course.


These paid for courses very rarely fail anyone, so the certificate means very little about how good they are as a drafter.


You can tell more from watching someone on a PC for five minutes than any piece of paper can tell you.


As the others have said it's more about any experience you have, and having been a welder/fabricator you have a good basis there for mechanical draughting and design.


It helps to think of CAD as just a fancy version of a pencil, paper, and draughting tools.


A course can teach you to use any tools, but how well you use them is down to you and your experience.


I've never done any course that gave me CAD certification, and I was employed various places using different CAD programmes for over 30 years ending up designing stuff for Sellafield nuclear site.


Just another thought, have you tried talking to your current employer?

They already know your qualities and may be willing to 'train you up' to be a draughter.

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Since you are a "hobbyist" you can download and legally install AutoCAD Fusion 360. Along with free usage of the product, there are TONS of beginner tutorials available on-line.

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