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Originally published in the Star Metro Vancouver
At Vancouver Community College (VCC), learners in the area of study dealing with computer aided drafting (CAD) and 3D building information modelling (BIM) are receiving the latest know-how to enter various careers.
When she graduated from VCC in 2006, Christine Pimpao was one such student. Today, not only is Pimpao a project systems specialist, she is back at the college in a much different role.
"As an alumnus I was asked to sit on the Program Advisory Committee to give VCC advice about what’s happening in the industry and offer guidance to ensure the programs are completely up to date," she says. "That’s one of VCC’s strengths, ensuring courses are relevant and comprehensive."
At VCC, the CAD and BIM area of study — which covers the technology being used in residential and commercial architecture, public infrastructure and engineering — includes six full-time programs. Among these are architectural technician certificate, civil structural technician certificate, and computer aided drafting and building information modelling architectural diploma.
Pimpao says that while topics vary among programs, a staple she experienced during her studies, and which continues to be emphasized today, is practical application.
"Throughout the program, every project, every lecture, everything we did was to work towards a portfolio," she says. "It wasn’t just learning subjects, but creating a professional portfolio we could present to companies."
As a woman in a male-dominated field, Pimpao says VCC gave her the tools to confidently launch her career. She says today there is a shift in the CAD and BIM industries as more women are entering the field.
"As long as you have the type of solid understanding VCC offers, you’ll gain the respect anyone deserves,” she says. "Be confident because there are lots of opportunities."
To learn more about this area of study, attend VCC’s March 20 info session at 4 p.m. For more, visit vcc.ca/info.