Get into one of today’s Hottest Careers: CADD

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Mott Community College is on the cutting edge of technical product design, frequently referred to as Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD or “CAD and Design”).

Mott has been a hot bed for companies looking for technical designers, and it was selected by the State of Michigan as one of the two colleges to be the model for the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) in Technical Product Design. Mott was also a recipient of a $55.8 million product lifecycle management software grant from Siemens that will be used by the CADD Program.

MCC Professor Dennis Hughes, Program Coordinator for the CADD program, fields a lot of calls from employers across the region looking for highly-skilled people to fill job openings.  He helps connect companies that are hungry for highly-skilled individuals to fill positions in CADD with students and graduates of the CAD and Design program.

CAD and Design basically involves the use of computer aided design software to design objects, make plans and drawings, used by manufacturing companies and in the construction field.

“We have been consistently receiving contacts from area employers in search of students from our CAD and Design program to fill vacant design positions,” Hughes said. “These employers are interested in current and future graduates, both with and without experience.”

The demand for Computer Aided Drafting and Design jobs continues to grow, as CADD remains one of the hottest fields in the engineering arena as the manufacturing and engineering fields in Southeast Michigan continue to be revitalized.

The job prospects couldn’t be better for candidates seeking careers in CADD, and the word is out about what MCC has to offer.

“I have had recruiters come in to our classrooms,” Hughes said. “Many companies will hire students as interns, which allows them the flexibility to finish their education and lets the company introduce potential permanent employees to the corporate culture. I have not had one intern NOT get hired,” he added.

“Industry is starting to hire now to offset retirements coming in ten years,” said Hughes. “Companies need people to have experience and an understanding of all the nuances of the field of CADD as the boomer generation retires. Everybody is hiring, big companies and small.”

Additionally, the current shortage of qualified Engineers in all industries including automotive, aerospace and software development, is creating an engineering technician shortage. “Industry needs more engineering technicians to fill in where there are not enough professional engineers,” said Hughes.

According to Hughes, “CADD is a great career field for detail oriented, hands-on, problem solvers. The diversity of problems CADD technicians get to address on daily basis is very dynamic. And there are opportunities to work in any size company and it is a skill you can take with you if you change companies.”

Mott College’s CADD Associate in Applied Science Degree prepares students for entry level design and engineering technology positions where CADD systems are used to drive the concurrent design and manufacturing environment. The complete product lifecycle is addressed from concept to the end of the product’s useful life. The Siemens Teamcenter®  software that was part of the $55.8 million grant from Siemens will be used to help teach product lifecycle management. Mott will be one of the only community colleges in the country teaching the software. Mott has a partnership with Siemens that goes back more than 15 years.

Along with the Associate Degree in CADD, students can also earn a Certificate of Achievement in CAD/CAM in CADD-Mechanical or in CADD-Architectural and a Certificate of Achievement. CADD students at MCC also have a unique opportunity to sharpen their skills in MCC’s state-of-the-art Digital Fabrication Laboratory (FABLAB), a hands-on laboratory that provides the technology and modern fabrication tools designed to support creativity and innovation, allowing people an opportunity to turn their ideas into products.

“We take an applied approach to teaching the material,” said Hughes, “we introduce real world problems and open ended assignments so students have to define the problem and develop solutions. We also have a lot of infrastructure that not every school has, to help us get things done and that enables us to offer experiential learning. The advantage of all these tools is that you have a dynamic learning environment,” he said.

Samantha Mason was a student in MCC’s CADD program when she was hired by General Motors before even completing her degree. GM allowed her to continue her studies and earn her degree while working at the GM Tech Center in Warren as a Floor Console Designer. She found that the MCC program prepared her for a successful career.

“The professors keep the environment professional,” Mason said, “which prepares you for the work place. The Mott program is a great program. I can’t say enough good things about it. I loved it way more than I thought I was going to. The professors are really helpful. They will challenge you if you need to be challenged and if you need more help they are more than willing to help you. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

“The Mott program is a great program. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

Samantha Mason, MCC grad and GM designer

Mason has experienced the strong demand for her skills in the job market. “There are definitely lots of job openings. Not just here at GM but at the other car companies, medical facilities and other places.” CADD is used in almost all areas of manufacturing, such as aerospace, defense, medical, automotive, office furniture, construction, and home product design.

Gil Martinez, an experienced engineer who works as a Resourcer for Talascend a global engineering resource company that helps industry find qualified candidates for engineering positions, praised Mott College’s CADD program. “In my opinion, Mott has the best program because they have the training program and the hands-on application in the shop area, which allows them to see not only how to draw but what it takes to make it,” Martinez said.

For more information about CADD programs at MCC, call Dennis Hughes, CADD program coordinator at (810) 762-0500, email the MCC Technology Division at or visit


Michael Kelly


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