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Darmstadt University (ACU)

Unique challenges in the year 2020 highlighted the importance of digital skills and the role of certification to validate those skills to potential employers. Dill Khan, lecturer at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in the Department of Architecture and a BIM specialist, saw an opportunity in the world of digital education to break new ground in teaching through certification.
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Darmstadt University (ACU)

A success story for Autodesk | Europe | Higher Education

Over the past year, the University and Mr. Khan worked closely with Autodesk and Prodigy Learning to implement a pilot to offer students the industry-recognised Autodesk Certified User (ACU) Revit certification.

The project was born when Mr. Kahn noticed the challenges many companies face in recruiting new, young employees and the gap in validating their skills and expertise in Autodesk applications.

Mr. Kahn shared, “Software is becoming increasingly important for prospective planners. After decades of drawing on paper with ink and pencil, the industry has now moved to 3D modelling and we needed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate an external qualification in this field.”

Mr. Khan carried out a plan to enhance the value of the courses offered at Darmstadt University and allow companies to objectively evaluate Autodesk software knowledge. The school had been teaching Autodesk Revit for approximately 12 years, and through careful planning and hard work, they implemented ACU Revit certifications. They started with a group of students in the Architecture and Civil Engineering departments in August, making Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences one of the first institutes in the DACH region (Austria, Germany and Switzerland.) to offer Autodesk certification.

The project was a massive success with all students achieving Autodesk certification, which was a credit to Mr. Kahn. As a result of the positive impact of the project, Darmstadt University has now adopted and embedded Autodesk certification into their current degree programmes including Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, adding additional value to the courses they offer.

Mr. Kahn stated, “The easiest way to ride the wave of digitization is to have a good command of software in your own specialized field. By acquiring these certificates, the students should have a great advantage, both during their studies and especially as future graduates in the job market. We would be delighted if many other universities would join us in this endeavour.”

Students also spoke highly of ACU Revit certification, saying they were surprised how well they prepared for the exam through the standard curriculum delivered at Darmstadt. They were enthusiastic about presenting a fresh certification at job interviews and some employers have inquired about Darmstadt students after hearing about the certification being implemented there.

The University now plans to grow the ACU programme from the pilot to include any student interested in earning the certification across the varied degree programmes. When asked what advice he would give to other schools considering adding ACU certification, Mr. Kahn suggested the following steps:

  • Recognise the challenges students face and give them every opportunity to gain sufficient qualifications to win jobs.
  • Involve all interested parties in the certification process including faculties, students, and professors, and give students in other faculties the opportunity to certify.
  • Pilot the program with a test run on a small group to identify and eliminate roadblocks.

Philipp Müller, Program Manager, Autodesk Education Experiences, said, “Proving competency with Autodesk software is becoming more relevant than ever, as many employers are doing job interviews virtually and reducing the onboarding time for new hires. The University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt is a great example of how Prodigy certifications can be adopted, embedded in teaching, and rolled out in multiple programs within just a couple of months.“

Billy Breen, Prodigy Learning Senior Territory Manager, added, “It has been a great pleasure to work with Dill, the University and Autodesk over the past year on this project. I’m delighted the University will be introducing Autodesk certification into their current curriculum. This will add great value to the current courses on offer in the University while also attracting potential students to the University and enhancing student’s employment opportunities upon graduation through industry-recognised certification from Autodesk.

About Prodigy Learning

Prodigy Learning is an award-winning global EdTech business, providing innovative online platforms that enable learners to develop and prove their skills. These solutions range from skills assessments in education through to job-ready digital skills certifications from IT industry leaders including Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft. The Company was established in 2000 and now has offices in Dublin, Ireland, London, UK, Sydney, Australia and New York, United States. Prodigy Learning has worked closely with Microsoft since incorporation in 2000. The Company is a Microsoft Gold Application Development Partner and a Global Training Partner of Microsoft in Education. To learn more, visit www.prodigylearning.com.

Published on Thursday, 10 Dec 2020

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