In this post I want to list the top 10 engineering schools in the world and the CAD package they use and compare it to the top 9 CAD Packages companies use in 2022. I believe it can give you an idea of what CAD package would work for you best and has the most impact for your future.
To do this comparison, I had to research the top engineering schools in the world in 2022 and this led me to different websites with different rankings. Whether it was based on the subject or the whole school, the results varied to a reasonable degree, but what I also noticed was that some of the names circulated in all the lists so, before starting the comparison, I wanted to combine all these engineering schools and get the common list first.
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Engineering & Technology based on topuniversities.com are:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology aka. MIT
2. University of Cambridge
3. University of Oxford
4. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
5. Stanford University
6. ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
7. National University of Singapore (NUS)
8. Imperial College London
9. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
10. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Now based on usnews.com here are the top 10s:
1. Tsinghua University, China
2. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
4. National University of Singapore, Singapore
5. Harbin Institute of Technology, China
6. Stanford University, US
7. University of California – Berkeley, US
8. Aalborg University, Denmark
9. Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
10. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Based on timeshighereducation.com World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Engineering
1. Harvard University, US – 4.6% acceptance rate
2. Stanford University, US
3. University of California – Berkeley, US
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
5. University of Cambridge, UK
6. University of Oxford, UK
7. Princeton University, US – 5.8% acceptance rate
8. California Institute of Technology, US – 6.4% acceptance rate
9. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
10. National University of Singapore
According to academicinfluence.com here are the top 10 engineering schools list worldwide
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
2. University of Cambridge, UK
3. Stanford University, US
4. Columbia University, US – 5.4% acceptance rate
5. University of California, Berkeley, US
6. Harvard University, US
7. University of Edinburgh, UK – 10% acceptance rate
8. University of Wisconsin-Madison, US – 54.4% acceptance rate
9. Cornell University, US – 10.9% acceptance rate
10. California Institute of Technology, US
After combining these lists to make one top 10 list, I got the following schools with the highest repetition:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology aka. MIT [4x times]
2. Stanford University [4x times]
3. University of California, Berkeley (UCB) [4x times]
4. University of Cambridge [3x times]
5. National University of Singapore (NUS) [3x times]
6. University of Oxford [2x times]
7. ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [2x times]
8. Harvard University, US [2x times]
9. California Institute of Technology, US [2x times]
10. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) [2x times]
So now I am going to take this list and look into the CAD packages they use in 2022 and list them below.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Based on MIT news, all students can download SOLIDWORKS for free and use it. This is pretty much expected and given MIT is focused on engineering, there is no better package than SOLIDWORKS for students to learn and use.
2. Stanford University
According to the Stanford university IT department, students can get access to the Dassault Systemes Abaqus as well as Autodesk AutoCAD. Abaqus is used mainly for FEA and not 3D modeling, therefore the main CAD package they use would be AutoCAD.
3. University of California, Berkeley
According to UoC’s software directory, students can get access to the Autodesk products. Hence, the CAD package of choice for Berkeley would be AutoCAD. So that’s two for AutoCAD and one for SOLIDWORKS to this point.
4. University of Cambridge
According to the software and licensing of Cambridge university, this school offers a verity of CAD packages to their staff and students. Among which, you see both SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD as well.
● PowerShape & PowerMill
5. National University of Singapore
According to SOLIDWORKS’s blog in 2015, NUS was one of the first universities to adopt SOLIDWORKS fully into their curriculum for 3D design and engineering analysis. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any recent updates on the subject which makes me believe it is still the case, so SOLIDWORKS is the CAD they use.
6. University of Oxford
According to their Materials’ and Physics’ department, there are a verity of CAD software that they offer to their students and staff and the main CAD package on their list seems to be Autodesk AutoCAD, SolidEdge and Google Sketchup.
7. ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
This university has taken it to the next level. According to Siemens’ blog, ETH is using NX Siemens to teach 3D modeling to their students. This is a rather high end CAD package and is used by some big companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. Although, this information is from 2020 and I couldn’t verify whether or not this is still the case.
8. Harvard University
There is not much information I could extract from this university, however, from the only source available, it seems that the CAD package of choice in this university is AutoCAD.
9. California Institute of Technology
According to the Caltech library, SOLIDWORKS 2019 and OpenSCAD are the two CAD software they use. However, I was able to spot AutoCAD along with a bunch of other packages in the directory of their software too.
10. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
I was amazed to find out that this university has a CAD department. According to their department of Computer Aided Design, SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD are the software they are using.
To sum it all up, here are the top CAD packages used by the top 10 engineering universities around the world in 2022:
1. AutoCAD x7 times
2. SOLIDWORKS x5 times
Last year in 2021, Apollo Technical, published an article listing the top 9 CAD packages that companies were using in 2021. I am listing them below for the ease of making a summary.
5. Civil 3D
8. PTC Creo
9. Siemens NX
Now if we compare the university results with the ones from the companies, we see that despite SOLIDWORKS being used 2 times less than AutoCAD in the academic world, their ranks seem to have changed considerably in the working environment i.e. companies. This is due to the fact that SOLIDWORKS has a superior interface and capabilities compared to his rival AutoCAD and keeps evolving with the industry standard every year. If you are interested in learning SOLIDWORKS as beginners or intermediates, I highly recommend you to enroll in the mini-course offered by SOLIDWORKS Course Pro for free or watch their webinar.