Computer Aided Design


Are you looking to pursue a degree in engineering, product design, or manufacturing? Consider a degree in computer-aided design (CAD). CAD is an advanced product development tool that automates numerous complex design tasks. Used in the manufacturing field, CAD enables engineers, designers, and technicians to develop new products quickly and precisely. Traditional technical drawing theory and practices are used with the most up-to-date CAD applications, rapid prototyping machines, modeling simulators, and other high-tech commodities.

The CAD program at Elgin Community College provides you with the technical expertise to pursue career opportunities in engineering, product design, manufacturing, and much more.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for computer-aided design (CAD) is likely to be positive, as the use of CAD software is becoming increasingly widespread across a variety of industries. In particular, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are expected to continue to drive demand for CAD professionals, as well as the manufacturing and automotive industries.

Additionally, the growing use of 3D printing technology is also expected to boost demand for CAD professionals. However, it's worth noting that with the increasing automation and use of AI in the design process, the job market may shift towards more specialized roles requiring advanced technical skills and knowledge. Roughly 18,900 job openings are projected each year, over the next decade. Refer to Career Coach to learn more about related professions and compensation.

Median Pay Rates

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the computer-aided design plan of study and course descriptions.

Associates of Applied Science

Basic Vocational Certificates

What is Computer-Aided Design?

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the science of using computer-based software to create, modify, analyze, and optimize product designs. This software is used to increase a designer's productivity, improve design quality, create a database for manufacturing, and enhance product accuracy through two-dimensional (2-D) or three-dimensional (3-D) drawing models. CAD software generates electronic files used for manufacturing processes.

Who uses CAD?

CAD software is used heavily in architecture, arts, and engineering projects. 

Professions that use CAD tools include:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • City planners
  • Graphic designers
  • Animation illustrators
  • Drafters
  • Fashion designers
  • Interior designers
  • Exterior designers
  • Game designers
  • Product designers
  • Industrial designers
  • Manufacturers

CAD tools tailored to specific industries include:

  • MicroStation (offered by Bentley Systems)
  • AutoCAD (offered by Autodesk)
  • CorelCAD
  • IronCAD
  • CADTalk
  • SolidWorks
  • Onshape
  • Catia
  • LibreCAD
  • OpenSCAD
  • Vectorworks
  • Solid Edge
  • Altium Designer

How to Become a Computer-Aided Designer?

ECC offers an extensive CAD program that serves the industry by providing the latest courses, applications, simulators, and technology in academia. Comprehensive, advanced classes with an Associate of Applied Science degree allow immediate job placement or acceptance in transfer Bachelor programs.

Refer to Computer-Aided Design for detailed information.

Learn more about the Computer-Aided Design department at ECC!

Earning an Associate of Applied Science degree basic certificate in Computer-Aided Design can set your career in motion.

Apply today