Low-Cost Training Resources (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

12 May, 2009 By: Robert Green

Job seekers can improve their skill sets, often at no charge.

Sadly, I've been receiving more and more e-mails from CAD managers who've lost their jobs lately. Many of them want to take their time off to learn some new CAD tools or programming to help them build their skill sets, but they don't know where to find the training resources they need.

In this edition of “CAD Manager’s Toolbox,” I’ll pass along a few ideas.

Software companies. More and more software companies are offering free training resources to unemployed CAD users, including extended-period demo software. Check web sites for manufacturer's policies. If a company doesn't offer an extended trial version of its software, sign up for a 30-day trial version and get as much experience as you can in that timeframe.

YouTube. Go to and type in the software title you're trying to learn. You'll be shocked at how many video resources you'll find.

User groups. Hop on Google and search for software user groups in your area and start making some connections. Quite often user groups have relationships with local resellers that can help you find training resources. At the least, you'll find other users who share your interests. Even better, you may find some job leads.

Online training providers. Again, check Google and search for online training companies using the software title in which you're interested and watch what comes back. (Handy tip: Many of these companies have clips on YouTube.)

Numerous low-cost and free training resources are out there if you take advantage of them. All you need is an Internet connection, some perseverance, and a desire to learn.