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New to solidworks looking for info / advice on Certification


New member
Hello all,
I'm completely new to SolidWorks but not entirely new to CAD (i.e. experience in Pro-E). I work for an automotive engineering firm but do not use a CAD program on a daily basis however I am looking to further my knowledge in SolidWorks so that I can use it in the future at another company. I work in the auto industry now but want to get a position at a more general mechanical engineering firm in the future. Also, the reason I am posting on this forum and not the SolidWorks forum is because I have not been able to create an account on that forum for 2 days and I am getting impatient, and after reading a few posts on this forum it seems like the SolidWorks forum is known for being problematic at times - so I opted to join this wonderful community :D.

Anyways, I am looking to become certified in SolidWorks and have a few questions before I get started. (FYI - I have SL 2015 student edition through my masters program)

1) If I do not use CAD is it feasible to go for the CSWP certification or should I go for the CSWA certification first (can I even complete CSWP with SL student edition?

CWSP - https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/797_ENU_HTML.htm
CWSA - https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/796_ENU_HTML.htm

2) Approximately how many hours will it take me to complete each certification program assuming I know nothing about Solidworks but have ~ intermediate Pro E experience?

3) Where do I find the tutorials for the "Recommended Training Courses":
Advanced Part Modeling
Advanced Assembly Modeling

I have found the part downloads but have not been successful in finding the actual training documents (for example, where do I download the Essentials training documents? https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/1495_ENU_HTML.htm)

4) Is anyone hiring in the Detroit area or Houston area that is willing to give me an entry level Solidworks design job ;) ?!