This is a good week for recently unemployed CAD users in the architecture, engineering, design, and manufacturing communities. Both Autdesk and SolidWorks have released programs that give unemployed designers access to free software, software training, and discounted or free certification exams. Both programs are aimed at increasing CAD proficiency in unemployed designers to help them get back on their feet sooner.
The Autodesk Assistance Program offers a free 13-month software license of AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, Autodesk Inventor Pro, and/or AutoCAD Civil 3D. In addition to access to these software titles, Autodesk is also offering free online training that is available anytime, reduced cost classroom training at various locations, and discounted rates on certification programs.
To participate in this program you must meet certain eligibility requirements and fill out an application online. For more detailed information and to apply, see the Autodesk Assistance Program website.
The SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package also offers a free download of their SolidWorks Student Design Kit software with a 90 day license. Unlike the Autodesk program, SolidWorks is offering its software to anyone looking to become familiar with their software or brush up on their skills; there are no eligibility requirements, and no one will be calling your old HR department to verify that you were laid off.
Even though the software is only good for 90 days, SolidWorks offers a variety of online learning resources and a one-time free Certified SolidWorks Associate exam to prove your knowledge of SolidWorks. Their goal is to help you gain the skills necessary to get ahead of the competition and get a design job.
For complete info and to download the SolidWorks software, see the Engineering Stimulus Package website.
Both of these programs are great moves by these companies. It prevents piracy by unemployed designers who have their weekdays free and nothing by time on their hands, and also gives them access to valuable training resources. It’s good to see companies embracing the fact that it costs them almost nothing to offer free downloads with expiration dates; it only builds their user base and will eventually increase the number of engineers purchasing full licenses.
If you have some time on your hands and want to learn some new software skills, there is no better time than now.