Today at Autodesk University’s keynote address, it was announced that Autodesk will be giving away all of its software for free to teachers, students and now educational institutions themselves.
Autodesk is committed to invest in the next generation and to help them on their journey to imagine, design, and create a better world. Students, educators, and academic institutions worldwide have free* access to Autodesk software—the same tools used by millions in industry today. We’re enabling future makers, engineers, and designers to move their ideas into reality, and helping to prepare students for jobs with free software. We can’t wait to see how they solve real-world design challenges.
What does this mean? This means that the clunky but cheap CAD software you learned how to design with back in school that you found out later in the real world is a not used at all is now a thing of the past. There now is no reason your school can’t be outfitted with the latest and greatest Autodesk software for absolutely no cost. This applies to any educational institution world wide.
This is an obvious win for schools, teachers and students but it’s also a smart move for Autodesk. Small schools with tight budgets can now be equipped with some of the best design software in the industry. Developing countries looking to populate minds with bright ideas can do so without resorting to software piracy.
This shift in thinking is also quite refreshing from the perspective of turning away from the corporate drive for instant gratification and focus on quarterly profit margins with an increased importance on long term business sustainability. When other CAD applications are the preferred software over an Autodesk product, this is sometimes just a result of an “it’s always been that way” attitude and not necessarily because one software is better than the other. With Autodesk products being free and in the hands of students, those students eventually get unleashed into the real world and can influence which products may be used at their company or even what gets used at their very own startup. It just makes good business sense to form that special bond between man and software, early.
Now the task lies on the educational institutions of the world to capitalize on this benefit and empower their students to use some really great tools. Time to put away the shareware CAD you’re all using to teach with now.