Based on popular demand from our customers, I am delighted to announce the launch of the Certified Onshape Professional exam, an opportunity for engineers to demonstrate their Onshape proficiency and highlight their expertise for industry peers and employers.
Onshape has always had a strong commitment to its user training programs – which include live instructor-led training, self-paced courses, technical briefings and video tutorials in the online Learning Center – but there is no better teacher than experience.
To officially recognize your experience and expertise, we’re introducing a comprehensive three-hour exam that certifies not only your CAD modeling skills, but also your knowledge of how to best leverage Onshape’s real-time data management and collaboration tools.
Successful test takers will receive an Onshape certificate and digital badge enabling them to include their Certified Onshape Professional status on their resume/CV, job applications and career networking sites such as LinkedIn. For employers, the certification will provide a way to improve recruitment of qualified Onshape product designers and engineers.
Benefits for Professional and Career Development
For engineers looking for their next opportunity, the reasons for Onshape certification are straight forward. Because Onshape is a next-generation SaaS platform with powerful features and tools distinctly different from installed on-premise CAD programs, this exam qualifies your understanding of how to use those additional capabilities. It testifies not just you know how to CAD, but that you know how to CAD following the best practices of Onshape. The exam proves that you know how to take advantage of the things that only Onshape can do.
Of course, that’s very important to forward-thinking companies who recognize the value of cloud product development tools. Engineering teams that use Onshape aren’t just looking for somebody who knows CAD, they are interested in bringing on people who want to improve their design processes.
For engineers who are already part of an Onshape-centric design team, certification is a benchmark to establish themselves as a go-to-resource at their companies – and a signal to their managers that they embrace the latest technologies and new approaches to modernizing product development.
Mechanical engineer Sean McCluskey is a longtime Onshape power user who was one of the first to take the certification exam.
“The test was more difficult than I expected,” says McCluskey. “It was a useful exercise and the CAD sections are very representative of how Onshape would be used in the workplace.”
“Having an Onshape certification on your resume is sort of like being a graphic designer in the 1980s and being very proficient on the Apple 2,” he adds. “It shows you’ve moved forward with the industry, that you can be progressive and learn the new tools – but you’re not just learning them in a fly-by-night sort of way. You’ve actually taken the time to learn things properly.”
As a manager who hires project-based extended design teams, McCluskey says he would regard the Onshape certification as a sign that a prospective new hire will fit in with his or her colleagues.
“People join companies and leave companies all the time. You have interns. Having a consistent set of standards is critical for making sure everyone’s on the same page,” he says. “My business is all online and remote. When I was living in China, I had designers in Europe and in the United States. Having everybody synchronized from a managerial standpoint is super important – especially when your team isn’t all in one place.”
As the demand for Onshape continues to surge, more and more employers will be seeking out skilled and experienced Onshape professionals. The new certification program will help companies identify prospective hires and prequalify the best candidates.
Kichler Lighting, a global leader in decorative and outdoor lighting products, has 75 full Onshape users and 250 light Onshape users on their design and manufacturing teams.
Paul Phillips, Director of Engineering at Kichler, says that he envisions that Onshape Professional certification will accelerate onboarding and integration of new team members with current Onshape processes.
“My team has utilized Onshape’s extensive online training and courses to improve their skills, reduce product development cycles, and ultimately grow our business,” he says. “The Certified Onshape Professional exam and certification is another excellent example of Onshape providing continued opportunities to my team for professional growth, which directly applies to successful project execution.”
Another company looking forward to rolling out the certification exam with its engineering teams is Formulatrix, a manufacturer of automated imaging systems critical for pharmaceutical research. The company depends on Onshape’s real-time data management and collaboration tools to keep its 100+ mechanical engineers in the United States and Indonesia in sync.
“The Certified Onshape Professional exam helps me ensure a consistent level of professional development and skill amongst our growing distributed teams,” says Heinrich Köchling, Director of Worldwide Engineering at Formulatrix.
Ready For Onshape Certification?
Although learning Onshape is intuitive for engineers with backgrounds in other CAD systems, the certification exam is not meant for brand new users. It is highly recommended that you have six months of Onshape experience or more before taking the three-hour test.
In the online Learning Center, two good refresher courses to prepare for the exam would be “Onshape Fundamentals: Data Management,” and “Onshape Fundamentals: CAD,” which provide an overview of many of the tools and processes unique to Onshape.
The certification exam consists of two parts:
- Modeling section (10 questions/50 points)
- Knowledge-based section (50 questions/50 points)
A complete list of topics covered on the exam can be found here.
Every user who passes the exam will receive an electronic Certified Onshape Professional certificate and badge for use in online media. Note: The certification exam costs $100 and may be taken as many times as needed to pass, but each attempt must be purchased separately.
Based on the explosive growth of the Onshape Education Enterprise and Onshape Education Standard plans, there are also plans to release an “Associate-level” certification exam for academic users. Stay tuned!
Dave Corcoran is the Head of Onshape Product Management at PTC. He is also the co-founder of Onshape. Dave holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. Before joining the Onshape team, he was the president of LC Design, the executive VP of R&D at SolidWorks and one of the original developers, and the director of R&D at Computervision. Besides being an avid Boston sports fan, Dave enjoys biking, gardening, traveling, and swimming.
Become a Certified Onshape Professional
Learn more about how to take the Onshape certification exam, and how employers can leverage it for professional development.