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Best PCB Design Course Online (Free)

Yes, there are free PCB design courses online

If you are new to PCB design, you will soon discover what your more experienced colleagues know all too well: your education is not over. It has just begun. Effectively and efficiently designing circuit boards requires that you keep current on processes, technologies, and tools as they continue to evolve and improve. One of the most useful methods to keep your skills honed is to leverage self-paced learning materials developed by industry experts. Among these is the best PCB design course online for free.

The Best PCB Design Course Online for Free

Today, designing electronic circuit boards can be quite complex, and the breadth of knowledge needed to do so well is extensive. For example, there are varying considerations and guidelines for multilayer PCB design, as opposed to boards with minimal layers in the stackup. Similarly, depth of understanding is required to make the best decisions for your product, such as whether to implement DDR4 vs. DDR5 technology for interface communications on your PCB.

For these and other cases, there are many free learning resources available. However, finding the best PCB design course online can be difficult. This is true irrespective of the specific topic or area of PCB design for which you need support. Therefore, it is important to ensure your resource meets well-defined criteria, as listed below.

Criterion for the Best Free PCB Design Course Online

  • Available for free
    Paid training, which often is instructor-led or supported courses, is great for those that prefer a more traditional learning approach. However, for maximum schedule flexibility coupled with limited teacher guidance, free materials are available online for virtually any topic related to PCB design.

  • Readily accessible
    Access to the course anytime allows you to fit the training into your schedule and work most proficiently.

  • Audience appropriate
    It is also important that the course targets board designers with similar knowledge and experience to you. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time on known concepts or learning techniques you do not need.

  • Well supported
    A lot of internet learning and training is provided as a standalone resource. However, it is better if you can get questions answered, either from the source or through an online community.

  • Includes applicable guidance/instruction
    Most PCB design concepts or activities are more easily digested when a visual or audio aid is available.

  • Contain accurate information
    Aside from addressing the topic of interest, the most important attribute of an online free PCB design course is that it contains accurate information.

Finding the best PCB design course online that satisfies the list of attributes above for the concept, process, or EDA tool you are interested in can be challenging. Fortunately, some courses meet this criterion and cover most PCB design issues you may have. 

Top Free PCB Design Courses Online

Designing circuit boards is an exciting profession that allows you to use your technical expertise and creativity to solve problems and transform ideas into tangible electronic products. Yet, the strategies, concepts, best practices, and tools to most effectively and efficiently design and develop PCBs are continually changing and improving. To remain current, you must use online resources like free PCB design courses and eBooks. This should include courses that cover design principles, as well as tools to help you implement them, as listed below.  


Course Topic


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to PCB Design

This eBook is a comprehensive resource that covers all the important aspects of PCB design. It includes best practices, checklists, how to design for manufacturing and assembly other DFX issues.  

Introduction to PCB Design

This free introductory course expands on the knowledge obtained from The Hitchhiker's Guide to PCB Design. This course teaches designers the basics of the design process, from schematic capture and PCB layout to how to complete a PCB design using CAD tools, and includes tips and tricks to design efficiently. 

ECAD Walk-throughs

To design efficiently, a strong foundational PCB design software is required. ECAD walk-throughs provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the software while producing a schematic, simulation, or PCB layout. 

Making Waves with RF: A PCB Engineer’s Guide to RF Design Principles

The explosion of smart technologies, like IoT, is due to ever-innovative RF PCB design. This eBook is an invaluable resource that explains what RF design is, how it is used, and how to best design boards that employ this technology.

Go Beyond the Waveform: Advanced Spice Analysis

Spice is probably the best general tool any PCB designer can have for optimizing circuit functionality and performance. This eBook shows you how to use the advanced capabilities of the program to elevate your design process. 

The resources listed in the table above are useful at any stage of your career and meet the best PCB design course online criteria, including being available from an experienced and trusted industry leader in producing PCB design tools and support.

EMA Design Automation is a leading provider of the resources that engineers rely on to accelerate innovation. We provide solutions that include PCB design and analysis packages, custom integration software, and engineering expertise, which enable you to create more efficiently. For more information on the best free PCB design course online for your project and how we can help you or your team innovate faster, contact us.

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