Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

STEM and Professional Studies

Program/Concentration

Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

Dana Burnett

Abstract

This research investigated the perceived effect of industry recognized Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) certifications among community college drafting instructors and employers. The research questions that guided this study were: (1) Do community college drafting instructors believe that certified drafters perform better on the job than non-certified drafters? (2) Do employers believe that certified drafters perform better on the job than non-certified drafters? (3) Do employers seek CAD certified individuals to fill drafting positions? (4) Is there a difference between the perceptions of community college drafting instructors and employers of community college drafting program graduates regarding the importance of drafting certification? (5) What qualifications do employers look for when hiring new drafters?

Drafting instructors from a community college system in one southeastern U.S. state were surveyed to determine their awareness of and perceptions about industry recognized CAD certifications. Employers of drafters within the same state were also surveyed using the same instrument.

This study found that drafting instructors and employers of drafters do not believe that certified drafters perform better than their non-certified counterparts. There is little difference in the perceptions of the two groups. Employers of CAD drafters do not seek certified individuals to fill drafting positions. They look for applicants with experience, education, CAD proficiency, and people skills when hiring drafters.

Currently there is no single industry recognized credential for drafters. Almost every software manufacturer offers their own product specific certification, likely as a "knee jerk reaction to Perkins funding," as one participant stated. The value and validity of such certification is questionable and needs further research. Momentum and awareness of American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) certification appears to be growing, and it may emerge as the industry leader in years to come.

Intuitively, certification appears to be perceived as having some value, though not enough value to warrant the time and expense required to attain it. Does having an industry recognized CAD certification benefit the community college CAD graduate? Based on the research in one southeastern U.S. state the researcher has concluded that there is no significant benefit to attaining such certification.

DOI

10.25777/wktp-sb84

ISBN

9781124930251

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