Studies & Degrees in Drafting
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Drafting, as an activity, has a very long history. Even if we went back to the time when modern construction equipments were far from conception, men had used technical albeit simple drawings to represent the design of whatever they wanted to build—from loom machines to castles and fortresses. Many artists also used technical drawing when drafting their own inventions. In face, should one look through Leonardo da Vinci’s portfolio, one would see drawings and drafts of machines—whether invented or not. As time passed, Drafting also evolved as the drawings became more accurate. Draftsmen also became more creative and rather bold in designing structures, thanks to the possibilities construction equipments like bulldozers gave. With the emergence of modern technology, many computer-aided design programs became available even to the laymen. These programs made Drafting more accurate in details and less labor intensive, making it possible for laymen to make their own designs.
Drafting is the foundation of every construction—from small desks, computers, and mechanical equipments to large houses, buildings, and structures. As a major, it is offered more as a job-preparation major or a post-secondary education rather than an academic one. This major allows students to know, understand, and apply the graphical language which is used in technical drawing. Students will also learn to develop an appreciation for it and the numerous industries where it can be used. They will also be able to maintain a high standard of quality for drawings; appreciate the concept of scale and proportion; use and understand drafting-related terminologies; represent three-dimensional objects presented on a two-dimensional plane; describe size and shape in a multi-view drawing; produce working drawings for mechanical or architectural projects; and to create drawings of basic objects in a three-dimensional environment. Students will also be able to make high quality works that they can include in their portfolios which is helpful, not only academically, but also in their careers after graduation. Students are also required to take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, and drawing; all of which are the foundations of Drafting. Courses in management and communication will also help students prepare themselves for leadership roles in the future.
There are two kinds of Drafting: manual and computer-aided, with the latter requiring skills with Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) software. CADs are the most popular kind of drafting nowadays. There are some schools that produce CAD professionals by concentrating on training students with designing software. This is perfect for those who, like professional engineers and architects, want to take this major as an additional knowledge to their current field. On the other hand, many schools still encourage student to first learn and master manual drafting before moving on and developing their skills in computer-aided drafting. This is perfect for students who want to become professional draftsmen.
Students who finish this major, especially those who have excellent skills in computer-aided drafting (CAD) have a lot of job opportunities waiting for them after graduation. Most draftsmen work for architectural, engineering, and construction firms as in-house draftsmen. Some also work in government agencies, mining firms, and manufacturing industries. Others, on the other hand, work in industry as managers, supervisors, and inspectors where their skills in reading and interpreting technical drawings became very valuable.