Author Topic: Altium Designer student license worth it?  (Read 10697 times)

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Offline yami759

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Altium Designer student license worth it?
« on: February 13, 2019, 07:36:06 am »
I'm currently a student in university looking to try something better than Eagle, and found out Altium offers a student license currently for about $120/year.

While that's definitely a significant discount compared to the normal price of Altium Designer, I don't know if I would benefit enough from it to still warrant the cost, given that it will just be for personal projects and the occasional school project, neither of which should be terribly complex.
 

Offline Daixiwen

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 07:43:46 am »
Will you still need to be able to open/edit the projects you are doing now when you are no longer a student and the license won't be valid?
Did you have a look at Diptrace or Kicad?
 

Offline yami759

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 07:55:50 am »
I used Diptrace for a bit and while it was pretty intuitive, it didn't seem to be as powerful. I took a look at KiCad a decently long time ago and didn't like it, but maybe I'll check it again, as I've heard it's gotten better.

I didn't even think about opening projects later on. While I doubt I'd need to, I'm sure it'd be nice. That'll definitely make me hesitate on this.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 08:17:15 am »
I used Diptrace for a bit and while it was pretty intuitive, it didn't seem to be as powerful (as Altium).

It isn't, but you can learn how to drive 90% of it very quickly versus learning 30% of Altium very slowly.

I have licences for both & prefer DipTrace by a long shot.

Re not being as powerful as Altium - I do some pretty complex boards & could design a PC motherboard with it if required without running into any of its limitations.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline kentfielddude

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 08:20:50 am »
Take a look at EasyEda.. also i've heard you can get cracked verisions of altium but im not suggesting you do that.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 10:25:50 am »
I'm currently a student in university looking to try something better than Eagle, and found out Altium offers a student license currently for about $120/year.
While that's definitely a significant discount compared to the normal price of Altium Designer, I don't know if I would benefit enough from it to still warrant the cost, given that it will just be for personal projects and the occasional school project, neither of which should be terribly complex.

It's for your resume. Worth it IMO.
 

Offline cjurczak

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 01:34:33 pm »
I think it's worth it to have experience with multiple platforms.  When you create a project in Altium, be sure you save the binary and ASCII versions of the board.  If you want to have a chance of importing to another package in the future you'll likely need the ASCII version, but Altium natively supports the binary. 

You are much more likely to find Altium in you job later on, and since you are a student, I assume you will be going on to finding a engineering job.  If you learn the basics of Altium, you'll be glad you did when your employer asks about it during an interview, or you're required to use it on the job.  You don't want to have to learn the basics on the job with someone looking over your shoulder. 

If I assume 3 years at $120/yr, that is a very cheap price to pay for some valuable experience(assuming you practice and use it). That's better value than a lot of the classes you'll take in college/university.  Also, if you get it go out and find available projects in Altium so you can see how a "real" design looks in Altium. 
 

Offline OwO

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 01:41:12 pm »
I would never invest valuable time and learning effort into software that is dependent on a single vendor and can lock you out any time. I would say look into gEDA if you don't like KiCad's UI, or if you really have to go for a commercial (proprietary) offering look for one that isn't subscription based.
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Offline Cicero

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 02:05:29 pm »
If you can afford it, do it.

If a newly graduated engineer joined my dept and knew Altium well, I would be very impressed.
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 02:39:36 pm »
You should more care about his engineering skills, not his ability to operate Altium. Universities these days spew students that can work with Altium or OrCad, or other similar very heavilly marketing pushed software packages (matlab, mathematica, ansys,..), but their engineering circuit design skill likely would not be that great, in fact it would suck (just looking at my schoolmates...).
 

Offline Cicero

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 03:40:48 pm »
You should more care about his engineering skills, not his ability to operate Altium. Universities these days spew students that can work with Altium or OrCad, or other similar very heavilly marketing pushed software packages (matlab, mathematica, ansys,..), but their engineering circuit design skill likely would not be that great, in fact it would suck (just looking at my schoolmates...).
Think you're reading into things that aren't there, no where did I even hint that engineering skills mattered less. 

End of the day Altium is a professional PCB suite used in several organisations, if a student comes with those skills, then good on them. 

In my opinion, its beneficial to learn that at universities than some obscure PCB software not heavily used in industry.  Makes the transition from tertiary to industry less of a leap.
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 09:35:01 pm »
If the goal is to be marketable post graduation,  then get it (or Orcad).       No one hiring in a good company gives a crap about KiCad skills.     You need to get past the HR keyword filter.  KiCad, GEDA has nearly zero visibility in the market. 

And if you somehow find a company that does look for KiCAD or GEDA,  chances are it is an underfunded startup or a company with no budget for good tools.  In both cases you don't want to work there.

If it is for hobby boards,  then it doesn't matter.

I would say though that if you are willing to sink 4 years of your life and significant $$$,    develop marketable skills while doing your hobby projects.     

« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 09:37:26 pm by ehughes »
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 11:35:00 pm »
If you can afford Altium i would do it, as Dave says it's very good to have Altium PCB design skills on your CV.
Altium is also a nice PCB program, at least for me i find it super easy to use and intuitive.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 11:48:36 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline motyr

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 06:40:52 am »
Hi

Do you know if Altium will provide educational license for the email ending with .ac.uk not .edu ?

Thanks
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 11:27:53 am »
Do you know if Altium will provide educational license for the email ending with .ac.uk not .edu ?

Yes, as long as you get a letter from your teaching institution stating that circuit design is part of the curriculum that you are enrolled in.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2019, 11:30:57 am »
I haven't needed a letter at all, just a certificate that I'm indeed enrolled.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2019, 11:47:31 pm »
I haven't needed a letter at all, just a certificate that I'm indeed enrolled.

Same, same.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline Pseudobyte

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2019, 07:57:05 pm »
I haven't needed a letter at all, just a certificate that I'm indeed enrolled.

I remember only needing to give them my student email address.
“They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do”
 

Offline Pitrsek

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2019, 08:45:05 pm »
Give a call to your local distributor. They are able to offer a free student license, for example for a student project or for thesis.
Also check what licenses are available through your university... There might be already access.
I paid for student license before they were allowed to give them away for free.  Price was about the same. Was totally worth it if I was in the same situation I'd do it again.
 

Offline peranders

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2019, 06:33:11 am »
Never thought of using Altium's free online version Circuit Maker? https://circuitmaker.com The drawback is off course the totally 100% public thing.
/Per-Anders or P-A as my friends call me.
 

Offline eddie1

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Re: Altium Designer student license worth it?
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2019, 06:45:20 pm »
(I know the original post is months old.)

Yes, it's worth it. Every free tool is either limited in functionality (Upverter) or has an absolutely atrocious UX (KiCad, which wins my personal award for worst UI I've ever come across). Altium is actually usable. I don't have access to the student version and still ended up buying it because of how much better it is.
 


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