Engineering students at the University of Northampton have given their CVs a significant competitive edge by completing a certificate in mechanical design.
Twelve undergraduates spent a year studying for the Mechanical Design Solidworks Associate Certificate, which is an optional extra qualification they can work towards while at the University.
Successful completion of the certificate means students are recognised by industry as being expert users of Solidworks computer-aided design (CAD) software, with cutting-edge skills that businesses seek out and reward.
“There’s a dearth of skilled workers who have competent CAD skills, industry is crying out for them,” said Jonathan Adams, Subject Leader for Engineering at the University.
“Companies prefer to bring people in with those skills, rather than train up their own workforce, so if you are a graduate with a Solidworks certificate, you have a huge advantage in the jobs market.
“In fact, plenty of companies are taking on students with Solidworks qualifications during the summer holidays on a freelance basis – and paying good money for them, so undergraduates can earn a tidy sum in between academic years.”
First year Engineering student, Julian Hammond-Miller, who comes from Stourbridge, completed the certificate this year.
He said: “When you look at job adverts, employers all seem to want graduates with Solidworks qualifications. It took me a year of studying and was quite challenging, and the final test was very difficult, so I was pleased I passed. I now think my future is looking brighter with this qualification.”
Julian’s course-mate, Olawale Kila, who comes from Cricklewood in London, said: “It was hard work, but definitely worth studying for the certificate. I want to take every opportunity available to me at University, and having the certificate along with my degree under my belt, I’m confident I’ll have a bright future when I graduate.”
Engineering students with their Solidworks certificates, together with staff from the department.