THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING CAD SKILLS:
When I worked in fashion recruitment, one of the biggest complaints from clients was that not enough designers possessed good computer skills, as not enough were being trained sufficiently at college or university. In my experience, the majority of students these days have had at least a couple of training sessions, but the feedback from them has been that each session was rushed, with not much time to catch up if they were falling behind (and being a bit of a technophobe myself, I know what that's like - everyone else is on step number 6, when you're still on point number 2, and before you know it, the class has ended!).
The reality is that most commercial fashion companies - high street retailers, suppliers and mid market brands - are looking to hire candidates with excellent Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign skills. Anyone coming out of college unprepared for the industry will clearly be at a disadvantage. Therefore any course leaders reading this - it's essential to make this one of the areas you invest most heavily in, to ensure that your students have the best chance of finding work following graduation.
For those who are about the leave uni and who don't feel confident about their abilities, it would be well worth doing a short intensive course after graduation in any of the packages mentioned above. Another up and coming package to look out for is Kaledo, created by Lectra.
It is an amazing package, which enables designers to render print, weave, graphics exceptionally quickly, and is also compatible with 'rival' packages. The system is already used by major companies such as LVMH and many high street retailers.
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