CAD as an industry is undergoing perpetual change. With new technology and rapid global expansion, engineers are feeling increasing pressures to be profitable.
With industry growth comes intense competition between CAD professionals who must now stay relevant and ahead of the curve. You must have knowledge in emerging technological innovations, a solid understanding of design processes, and the ability to communicate effectively in global markets.
Here are six skills CAD professionals need to develop if they want a bright future in the industry.
1. Ability to Use Cloud-Based CAD Software
Cloud-based CAD software has a high forecasted growth potential and has already been integrated in some engineering processes. The cloud improves security, convenience, connectivity and transparency across divisions. A strong foundation in a cloud-based system, such as Onshape, gives you a leg up in emerging technology, which puts you ahead of the trend.
2. Ability to Adapt to Faster Design Cycles
Complacency is not an option for engineers. To boost productivity and stay in front of the pack, you must be responsive to industry changes and willing to adopt technology that speeds up design cycles, such as 3D printing.
Major benefits of faster design cycles include improvements in design, reduction in design time, cost savings and quicker responses to changes in the market.
3. Increased Focus on Sustainability
At a high level, an engineer’s job is to develop solutions that improve overall quality of life. While the world faces huge environmental issues, the health of our planet is increasingly dependent on the ability of engineers to develop sustainable solutions. As stewards of the environment and natural resources, engineers must have a hunger for knowledge in renewable energy and be dedicated to the good of mankind.
A focus on sustainability also creates a global community of skilled innovators while working towards a common vision.
4. Multidisciplinary Skills
One in seven engineers ranked multidisciplinary skills as being important for the future. These skills include multilingual capabilities and the ability to manage global teams. To participate in the ever-growing global work environment, engineers must have extensive knowledge of the cultural, political and economic forces that could impact innovation.
Having the ability to both understand and communicate with industry leaders around the world will keep you relevant and employable as the industry expands.
5. Soft Skills
The CAD industry is rapidly becoming more digital. Technical skills alone aren’t enough to beat the competition. To have a future in CAD, you must have the ability to adapt to quick changes, collaborate with stakeholders and effectively communicate ideas and designs across channels. Keep these skills top-of-mind as they’re valued highly by firms.
6. STEM Skills
Let’s not neglect the basics. A foundation of knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics helps young professionals gain and sustain traction in the industry. CAD professionals use logic that requires these skills to solve problems.
Engineers who fail to develop these critical skills will soon become obsolete in the competitive, fast-paced industry. However, those who successfully exhibit these skills will remain relevant and employable and will fuel future innovation.
Image Source: tec_estromberg via Flickr