Autodesk offers free CAD to jobless, preps Mac version
It’s a big week in Autodesk news: The company released a survey to help them "shape the next generation of AutoCAD products for the Apple OS X operating system," and it also expanded its 13-month software licenses from students and faculty to the unemployed in the fields of architecture, engineering, design and manufacturing.
"In order to get ahead in the workplace, you need to invest in yourself by increasing your knowledge and expanding your skills," the company writes. From the Autodesk Assistance Program website, users can download any student license of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor Professional or AutoCAD Civil 3D software. (This comes around the time of a similar announcement by SolidWorks.)
"In these uncertain economic times," the company continues, "many companies have had to let good people go. If you were one of them, you might be wondering how to advance your career in this challenging global job market."
Additionally, users get free online training and certification preparation and exams available at discounted rates.
Still employed or trying to beak the system? A message of caution from the company's website: "Autodesk reserves the right to contact the former employer HR contact to confirm program eligibility and applicants will be asked to consent to such inquiries."
As for the move toward Apple, there is history behind the decision. Nearly two decades ago, Autodesk abandoned its version of AutoCAD on the Mac, and according to CAD guru Ralph Grabowski's blog, "now perhaps [Autodesk] is seeing too many sales lost to the likes … NX to mechanical engineering customers and SketchUp to designers." Filling out the survey opens participants to potentially be contacted as a beta tester.
The survey, the company writes, "is intended to gauge your interest and requirements for a new version of AutoCAD, which would work on Apple's latest operating system and hardware."