Editor’s Forum: Is there an approaching shortage of CAD users?

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According to a 2002 article published in the Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice by Moncef Nehdi, P.E., “the brightest students entering post-secondary education are often attracted by routes other than engineering that are perceived more likely to yield careers of higher prestige and greater returns. For civil engineering in particular, this is further compounded by the fact that the field is not traditionally viewed as a high-tech discipline. Thus, student quality, enrollment, and research funding in civil engineering programs have been declining across North America. The conservative construction industry is part of the problem; adjustments of this aging cartel to the new economy are still at the embryonic level. Civil engineering educators are facing the question, ‘How do we change the hardhat-down-in-the-ditch image of civil engineering in the minds of the new information technology generation?'”

In a recent survey, we found out that 55.3% of MicroStation users were age 41–50 and only 12.4% were age 21–30. Also, at this year’s BE Conference, Bentley made a passionate push for the BE Careers Network, which focuses on increasing the number of students entering the AEC field.

Could the CAD industry be faced with a shortage of experienced CAD users over the next ten to twenty years?

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