Photo: Computer-aided Design and Drafting instructor, Roberto Romano
Updated January, 2021
When Roberto Romano enrolled in CAD training at Herzing College, he had no experience in the field whatsoever. He learned the software, project management, and drafting skills from scratch.
After graduation, he got hired as an architectural draftsperson and worked in the field for several years. Then, he noticed an opening back at Herzing for a CAD instructor.
Roberto joined the faculty and has been teaching the program ever since.
This week, we interviewed Roberto about how the Computer-aided Design and Drafting program works.
We asked which skills students learn in class, what projects they do, career options, and what it takes to be successful in today's CAD industry.
Considering becoming a designer/drafter? Take a tour of the program with Roberto Romano: former graduate, expert instructor, and dedicated student mentor.
Q: Roberto, can you share a little about your background in drafting and design?
Roberto: Well to start, I am a 2009 graduate from Herzing's Computer-aided Design and Drafting (CAD) program! I was born in Montreal, Quebec and before I started the program at Herzing, I didn’t really have a background in drafting and design.
I was starting in the field from scratch. After graduation, I was hired by an architecture firm as an Architectural Draftsperson. I worked in that role from 2009-2013.
Q: How long have you been an instructor for Herzing? What inspired you to teach CAD training?
Roberto: I’ve been an instructor at Herzing College Montreal since September 2013. It was really the atmosphere and staff at Herzing that inspired me to join the faculty and teach the Computer-aided Design program. It's like being part of a big family.
Also, I loved the experience I had while earning my CAD diploma back in 2009. I knew there was huge growth potential within the CAD industry, and felt my knowledge and professional experience would benefit Herzing students.
Becoming an instructor was a dream come true. I love seeing students develop their skills and confidence, and the wonderful feeling of helping them learn something new. It's been a truly rewarding experience for me.
Q: Can you explain the different styles of design and drafting students learn at Herzing?
Roberto: Our CAD training is divided into 3 tracks:
Track A is a mixture of Architectural and Mechanical.
Track B is the Mechanical Track
Track C is the Architectural Track
Finally, you have the internship at a company for 16 weeks.
What makes the training perfect is that we have 3 different ways you can enter into the program. You can start in Track A, Track B or Track C. Basically, students can choose the order or sequence of study.
Whichever track you start with, you eventually complete all the other tracks and finish with the company internship.
By graduation, students have a strong foundation in both mechanical and architectural design and drafting. This gives them more job opportunities in different industries.
The software programs and skills we teach are used in such a broad range of companies and businesses, the career potential is virtually limitless.
Q: What are the most important, marketable skills students learn in this program?
Roberto: How to use several kinds of CAD software. Students get a very good foundation in software, which is key to getting hired as a draftsperson. Even if the company uses a different software, our graduates have the ability to pick it up very quickly.
Overall, we teach an interdisciplinary CAD program. Our students learn by doing. Hands-on projects teach them a very marketable range of skills, from time-management and precision to teamwork and independent problem-solving.
At Herzing, students get the chance to make many mistakes in class, and learn from those mistakes, so they don't make them at work where it costs the employer money.
By graduation, they are fully prepared for the real world of design and drafting. Students even get professional experience for their resume through the 16-week intensive internship.
The combination of drafting skills and work experience gives our graduates a strong competitive edge in the CAD industry.
Q: What kinds of hands-on projects do students work on in class?
Roberto: At the end of every track we do a final project. It can be an independent or group project, which students complete on their own without the help of the instructor.
The goal is to simulate a real professional drafting assignment they would do for a company.
We give them 3 weeks to come up with the idea, create it, and then present it. We provide feedback to help them improve their concept and execution for the next round.
Q: What kinds of CAD jobs will students qualify for after completing the program?
Roberto: Most graduates start out as junior CAD designers/drafters. This work usually involves doing corrections to drawings, preparing shop drawings in AutoCAD, and converting files over.
A junior designer is often responsible for answering client emails and calls, keeping clients updated on projects, maintaining logs, bills of materials, and other documentation.
Montreal offers a good range of job opportunities in architectural and mechanical drafting.
Many of our students get job offers from their internship. The internship is a really great opportunity to show your skills, impress the employer, and receive an offer of employment.
Q: What kinds of advancement opportunities can graduates qualify for?
Roberto: If you do the work well, and your employer appreciates your efficiency and work ethic, there are definitely ways to move up.
A junior drafter can get promoted to senior drafter, and even transfer into the design department.
Q: What backgrounds do your students come from? Are there people of all ages in CAD training?
Roberto: We have students from all different backgrounds. Some have design and drafting experience, while others are completely new to the field.
In terms of age, we have people ranging from 18 to 50 years old! Recently, we've been seeing more women enter the program, which is encouraging. This field was once dominated by men, but that's beginning to change.
Q: What does it take to succeed in the CAD program? How does someone know they're a good fit?
Roberto: I always like to bring up a story of an older student I had. She had no computer skills at all. She told me this at the very beginning of the program, and asked if she should quit. I told her it was easy to learn and not to give up.
So she worked hard and stuck with it. By the end of the course, not only was she good with computers, but she was one of the best when it came to CAD software.
She told me she simply kept practicing until she got faster and faster. The bottom line? If you're interested in design/drafting, and willing to work hard, you will learn all you need to succeed in the program and in the field.
Still have questions about CAD training and careers?
The CAD and Drafting program at Herzing College Montreal is 16 months long. The program includes a 16-week internship at a local company, where students gain real experience on drafting projects.
Want to learn more? Your next step is to speak with an Admissions Advisor. An Advisor will discuss your background, interests, and career goals, and help you decide if the CAD program is right for you.
You can also ask about tuition costs, class schedules, application requirements, and financial aid.
Click below to get started. Browse the CAD program, chat live with an advisor, or request free information by email. We're here to help!