November 14, 2012, by admin

College Students Are Getting More Out of Class

In the process of tutoring college students about Building Information Modeling (BIM), I am reminded how rapidly the design and construction education is changing.  Thinking back just 6 and a half years ago when I graduated from college, I entered into the workforce with very little real CAD knowledge and no idea what BIM is.  Maybe that is still common, I am not sure.  But from what I have seen my guess would be no.  Colleges and universities are having to step up their programs to keep up with the demands of the industry and their students.

While new tools and technologies allow for fancier 3D models and graphics that is not enough for many students.  With the current economy and number of jobs available in design and construction, industry students are looking for an edge in the hiring process and one of the ways to get that edge is to keep up with the current technology and processes.  The common 2D CAD classes are becoming a thing of the past.  CAD classes are now not only teaching 3D modeling (such as Revit); they are becoming more comprehensive by covering the beginning to the end of projects.  They are teaching students how to design, how to document, how to estimate and how to build in a virtual environments.  Classrooms are becoming BIM laboratories.  There are even national BIM competitions between universities and students want projects to be more grounded in the real world.

So bottom line, the traditional CAD class is evolving for the better.  Showing someone how to click and move in a computer program has limited value.  Teaching concepts and providing understanding to the how, when, and why we do things provides a real advantage to the students.  If schools are not offering these types of classes, students are looking elsewhere for their education.