AutoCAD Cert. before applying to MLA programs?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums EDUCATION AutoCAD Cert. before applying to MLA programs?

  • This topic has 1 reply, 16 voices, and was last updated 12 years ago by nca.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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  • #177168
    dsawler
    Participant

    Is it worth doing an autoCAD certificate program my last year of undergrad (my degree is in liberal arts) before apply to MLA programs? I thought it might give me a little advantage over those who have an undergrad degree in a liberal arts program like I do.

    Any thoughts? It would run me about $1600 — think it’s worth it?

    #177189
    nca
    Participant

    I nearly completed an associates in Architectural Drafting at a community college, which entailed much instruction on the nuances of AutoCAD (2002 at the time). In 2005 I returned to CSU to complete my BSLA. The classes I took at the community college did not transfer credits, but I believe I had a sizeable advantage over many of the other students with my CAD training. It also opens the door for internship opportunities, more so I think, than knowing Photoshop, etc. If you can manage the $1600 and get a comprehensive working knowledge of Cad I’d say go for it. If nothing else, it could get your foot in the door as an intern while in school.

    #177188
    dsawler
    Participant

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    Any other suggestions to get a leg up on other applicants?

    #177187
    Andrew Spiering
    Participant

    Hey Dsawler,

    You can download a 30-day trial version, here.
    You can also get a free student version of Land F/X to go with it, here.

    #177186
    nca
    Participant

    I agree with the last two posts on learning yourself. Still, this will only take you so far. Learning how to manage xrefs and other office standards will be important later.

    I’m using landfx now at work 🙂

    It’s a handy program, but fairly easy to learn on the job and I don’t see much application for it in school, still good to know. Mcolor is another cad plugin that some EDAW offices and probably others are/were using for quickly coloring cad plans..etc..

    Good Luck.

    Andrew Spiering said:

    Hey Dsawler,

    You can download a 30-day trial version, here.
    You can also get a free student version of Land F/X to go with it, here.

    #177185
    nca
    Participant

    Perhaps instead of the $1600 for a CAD specific course, I might take a basic drafting or garden design course and get your feet wet with cad on your own as others have said.

    Basic hand drafting courses will teach you about lineweight and graphic standards. The other cool thing that I believe helped me alot was learning how to manually draft sections, elevations, and isometrics.

    #177184
    Andrew Spiering
    Participant

    Dsawler,
    One of our members wrote THIS on his blog…

    #177183
    Eric Gilbey
    Participant

    Before spending $1600 or trying limited trials, you should consider free software available through Vectorworks for students http://www.nemetschek.net/student/ This will provide you with a full version of the software, and that includes Renderworks. With this, you will be able to do the work of AutoCAD, Land F/X, Photoshop and Sketchup, and GIS, too. For FREE as long as you are a student. The upgrade to a full license after graduation is still cheaper than the other alternatives.

    #177182
    Andrew Spiering
    Participant

    Thanks, Eric!

    Eric Gilbey said:

    Before spending $1600 or trying limited trials, you should consider free software available through Vectorworks for students http://www.nemetschek.net/student/ This will provide you will a full version of the software, and that includes Renderworks. With this, you will be able to do the work of AutoCAD, Land F/X, Photoshop and Sketchup, and GIS, too. For FREE as long as you are a student. The upgrade to a full license after graduation is still cheaper than the other alternatives.
    #177181
    Jana Pearl
    Participant

    I think it really depends on the program. There are some schools that teach the CAD basics to get you started as a side class your first year and others that do not and you just have to pick it up. For me I just picked up and wished I had learned much earlier. It is critical these days to have at least some CAD knowledge, especially as you shop around for an internship either in the summer or during school. So my best advice is talk to someone within the programs you are applying and see what they offer so you don’t have to pay an extra $1600 before you get to school if you don’t have to!

    #177180
    Bryce Miranda
    Participant

    Leave AutoCAD for the workplace. You’ll certainly get enough of it there.
    Instead I would learn while you are doing your MLA if you can. An MLA is not intended to prepare you to be a CAD monkey -its more about giving you the strengths as a designer. Anyone can do AutoCAD. And really, if you spend more time learning design that is where you will have the REAL advantage.

    #177179
    stephen carreker
    Participant

    Take a close look at SketchUp! It is simple and powerful and google recently bought it so it must be good.
    You can google 3-D models that people have passed on and get a feel for the program. Good luck!

    #177178
    Andrew Spiering
    Participant

    I agree with Bryce…

    Bryce Miranda said:

    Leave AutoCAD for the workplace. You’ll certainly get enough of it there.
    Instead I would learn while you are doing your MLA if you can. An MLA is not intended to prepare you to be a CAD monkey -its more about giving you the strengths as a designer. Anyone can do AutoCAD. And really, if you spend more time learning design that is where you will have the REAL advantage.
    #177177
    Jodie Lustgarten
    Participant

    No. As someone who just graduated from an MLA program and someone who served as part of a committee to review graduate applications to our program I would say that CAD experience did not play a part in the decision making process. I suppose it varies from school to school but from my own experience I can tell you that creativity and capacity for artistic expression (whether in drawings, writing, paintings, etc.) were bigger considerations than technical skills. Most people can learn a computer program but sincere interest in and understanding of the field will, I think, give you a bigger advantage. I too came from a liberal arts background and was accepted to a number of landscape architecture programs sans CAD skills or VectorWorks or Adobe…
    Good luck.

    #177176
    Deborah Christman
    Participant

    I have spent at least that, and I am finally getting the hang of this program (I don’t cry anymore). If it doesn’t give you an advantage for getting in, it will certainly make life a little easier once you are in. Learning it as you struggle with all the other stuff is plain ol’ hard work, and it can make you crazy. The class mates who already had experience in Autocad seem to sail through a little easier.

    On the other hand, my son who is an urban planner, got a decent job just knowing Sketch Up and Photoshop. Then already being unafraid of programs, he learned CAD basics in about 3 days. Since he has to use it in the office he has learned as he goes.
    Deborah

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