Autodesk has been giving away free software for students and educators but now they are also expanding to veteran or unemployed individuals who have worked in architecture, engineering, design or manufacturing industries.
If you qualify you can get this amazing list of software to build your expertise and/or freelance some projects:
Autodesk, is the developer of Autocad, 3DS Max, Maya and many other great software tools. I must add that they are moving towards the Mac platform. You can now have Autocad 2012 and Maya 2012 for Mac OS. Amazing!