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10 Best System Design Courses [2024]

Last Updated : 26 Feb, 2024
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In today’s tech-driven world, applications have become an integral part of our daily lives, whether for tracking sleep, streaming TV shows, or following cricket matches. The rapid advancement in technology has led to the development of approximately 3800 new applications being pushed to the Play Store every day, covering various categories like gaming, OTT, utility, and productivity.

Best System Design Courses

As a developer, understanding how these applications work at the backend and communicate seamlessly with each module is crucial. While it may not be mandatory for freshers to have in-depth knowledge of system design, learning about the components and architecture early on can significantly benefit your career. To help you in this journey, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 System Design courses for both beginners and experienced professionals, along with their key features.

What is System Design?

As mentioned above, if you’re thinking about how big applications like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar, etc. work from the backend – let us tell you the real magic is designing a system that can work on each module or component. In a nutshell, System Design is the process of designing the architecture, components, and interfaces for a system to satisfy the specific needs and requirements of end-users.

Speaking of which, these engineers are responsible for making their product for (Netflix, Facebook, etc.) scaling up at a mass level. In short, System Design is all about maintaining the relationship between Scalability – Reliability – Availability.

Almost every big tech company including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. asks various questions based on System Design while hiring software developers or software engineers. Also, if you’re preparing for an SDE 2 or SDE 3, learning System Design becomes more necessary to crack the interviews. 

Best System Design Courses for Programmers and Developers 

1. Mastering System Design Course by Geeksforgeeks

System Design Live course by GeeksforGeeks is one of the best and most recommended courses by students/professionals around the world with an average of 5-star ratings. This system design live course is mentored by Mr. Sandeep Jain (Founder & CEO) of GeeksforGeeks. The best part about this course is the quality, assistance, quizzes, interactive videos, and placement assistance for top-tier companies. The course offers accessibility in Object-oriented analysis and design along with the system development process, UML, use cases, objects, classes, and much more. 

Key Takeaway:

This course has been curated to prepare every individual participant for job-ready potential candidates while driving through every aspect that any organization would need. Some major highlights of this course are:

  • System Design Interview & Expectations
  • Process of System Design
  • Design problem focused on requirement analysis and data modeling
  • Generic components design diagram of a large-scale system.
  • Trade-offs in a large-scale system
  • Load Balancer
  • SS: Termination and SSL passthrough
  • Reverse Proxy
  • Web sockets
  • Monoliths and Microservices
  • Facebook messenger design using web sockets
  • O Auth 2.0
  • JWT tokens
  • CDN
  • Caching
  • DNS
  • HTTPS working
  • Zookeeper
  • Distributed analysis in a large-scale system
  • Linear hashing, etc.

What you’ll learn by the end of this course?

  • Designing a Scalable System
  • Effective Interview Tips
  • Time management while covering the whole curriculum
  • Hands-on experience on real-life projects such as Twitter, Uber, etc.

2. Grokking the System Design (Educative)

This course is offered by and has been crafted to prepare an individual for system design interviews. This course has been created to offer a wide range of detailed structures for building modern system design. This is one of the best courses for system design that cover a wide range of topics in 26 hours of study material. The structure of this system design course includes the following pointers:

  • Introduction – Modern System Design
  • System Design 
  • About Abstraction & its importance
  • Non-functional System Characteristics
  • Back-of-the-envelope Calculations
  • Introduction to Building Blocks for Modern System Design
  • DNS – Introduction
  • Load Balancers – Introduction
  • Database – Introduction & Types of DB
  • Key value store
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Sequencer
  • Distributed Monitoring
  • Projects – Google Maps, Twitter, Uber, etc.

Key Takeaway: This course includes 175 Lessons, 135 Quizzes, and 829 Illustrations which will help you solve all the complex problems along with the interview preparation.

3. Introduction to Systems Engineering (Coursera)

System Design is one of the most critical topics to master, it simply cannot be achieved in a month. Although the market (Internet) is flooded with resources (both free & paid), a good system design course would require the best engaging content that can teach students about the system life cycle. This system designs online course (by Coursera) will provide all the required material with tons of assessments and carries a rating of 4.7 stars. This system design course is being offered by UNSW – Sydney that includes the following syllabus:

  • Introduction to Systems and System Life Cycle
  • Systems Engineering and its Relevance and Benefits
  • Requirements Elicitation and Elaboration
  • Conceptual Design
  • Preliminary and Detailed Design
  • Construction, Production, and Utilisation
  • Systems Engineering Management

Key Takeaway: This course has been curated for all-level professionals/students who wish to start their career in this field and this system design online course does not require any niche background.

4. Systems Expert (AlgoExpert)

This course has been designed to connect learners by explaining to them real-life scenarios and includes tons of videos which is probably the best source for capturing concepts. This system design course includes 38 videos which include both in-depth tutorials and practice questions, and the best part about this course is that they (AlgoExpert) refer you the candidates directly to the core companies with the same job position so that you can start your journey right away. Besides this, the course offers some of the following major topics:

  • Introduction
  • Design Fundamentals
  • Client-Server Model
  • Network Protocol
  • Storage
  • Latency and Throughput
  • Availability, Catching, Proxies
  • Load Balancer
  • Hashing
  • Relational DB
  • Key value storage
  • Specialized Storage Paradigms
  • Replication and Sharding
  • Configuration, etc.

Key Takeaway: This course is curated to offer a set of 50 quizzes and immersive videos (including interview preparation) that can nurture mid-level programmers. 

5. Data Structures and Software Design (edX)

It’s a self-paced, 4-week program, suitable for intermediate-level programmers. This system design online course also requires prerequisites such as:

  • Java Syntax and Keywords
  • OOPS concepts 

What will it offer? 

  • Introduction 
  • Core Data Structure
  • Advanced-Data Structure
  • Implementing and Improving Software 

This course is being mentored by Chris Murphy (Sr. Lecturer – CS • Bryn Mawr College) and will take you forward by teaching on writing efficient software that is easy to maintain and can be scaled up as and when required.

Key Takeaway: It would require you to learn from the basics and keep your revision tight else you’ll be left with only confusion. Below are some key highlighters that this course will provide:

  • Java Data Structure – Basics & Application
  • Pathway of creating superior software design (wrt. OOPS)
  • Storage & Retrieval of Data
  • 4-week course offered by the University of Pennsylvania

6. Software Design and Architecture Specialization (University of Alberta)

This course is being mentored by the University of Alberta and has a rating of 4.6 and is a well-structured system design course for learning design and architecture. This course requires you to have a prerequisite of Java and will take you forward in a row of 1-6 months of duration (depending upon your learning speed). Some of the major highlights of this course include the following module:

  • Object-oriented Design
  • Design Pattern
  • Software Architecture
  • Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

Key Takeaway: This system design course offers a wide range of practical examples that will help you for developing flexible software by applying design principles and architecture. 

7. System Design Interview Guide for Software Architecture (Udemy)

This one is among the most trending system design course available out there in the market. This system design course is offered by Udemy and is mentored by Sandeep Kaul (Tech Lead – Meta). This course offers key concepts that will help you with designing the system design and architecture and will also drive you for interview preparation by providing top-tier FAANG (now MAANG) interview experiences. Besides this, some of the major highlights of this course are:

  • Introduction – System Design Interview Q&A
  • How to pick the right database?
  • Case Studies – Real-life scenarios
    • Airbnb System Design
    • Netflix System Design
    • Amazon System Design
    • Twitter System Design, etc.

Key Takeaway: This is a short-term crash course alike and targets those who are looking to get full-fledged revision right before the interview. The interactive sessions will guide you toward DO’s and DONT’s that you must follow while preparing for the interview. This course is suitable for all-level of professionals (Beginner Engineer to Architects, and so on)

8. System Design Course (Gaurav Sen)

This course is well-designed for developers and offers a detailed understanding of design fundamentals, architecture, and high-level, and low-level design implementations. Moreover, it will explain each case by connecting real-life scenarios and is also suitable for every level of professional. Modules like fault tolerance, eventual consistency, and performance tradeoffs have been explained briefly in this system design course. Besides this, some other modules of this course are:

  • Fundamentals
    • Networks Deep Dive
    • Consistency in Distributed Systems
    • Distributed Rate Limiting
    • Caching Fundamentals
    • Database Migrations
    • Design an Audio Search Engine like Shazam
    • Interview-ready Fundamentals Test
  • High-Level Design
    • Design an Emailing service like Gmail
    • Chess Design: Building a highly scalable turn-based gaming website
    • Calling App Designs like WhatsApp
    • Build a workflow management platform like Apache Airflow and Flink
    • Design a Live Video Streaming System like ESPN
    • Design a collaborative editor like Google Docs
    • Interview-ready HLD Test
  • Low Level for ML
    • Low-Level Design: Payment Tracking Apps like Splitwise
    • Machine Coding a Cache
    • Machine Coding an Event Bus
    • Interview-ready LLD Test

Key Takeaway: This system design course offers detailed explanations of projects along with quizzes. It also provides a detailed preview of the architectural diagrams and also offers free resources for API design, caching, data replication, etc. 

9. Online Systems Design Certificate Program (Cornell)

This is a well-curated course for 3 months duration offered by Cornell University, guiding you towards working with complex system design and architectural patterns. This course will also guide you through the process of creating documentation (including a detailed design of the system). The best part about this is that anyone can participate in this and no as such prerequisites are required to carry before starting this course. Besides this, let’s check out some of the major key highlights of this course:

  • HTML – Introduction
  • CSS – Introduction
  • Introduction of RWD (Responsive Web Design)
  • Data collection

Who can enroll in this course?

Professionals who are looking to start their career in UI/UX or Front-end Development can opt for this course.

Key Takeaway: This course is suitable for engineers, technology leaders, or any other one who wishes to master the system design process. By the end of this course, you’ll also get to know how to manage effective team interaction and maintain relationships with clients/stakeholders.

10. Principles of Software Design (Duke University)

This system design online course is a must-to-have for every Java programmer. This course is being mentored by 4 instructors i.e. Robert Duvall, Owen Astrachan, Andrew D Hilton, and Susan H. Rodger. This course gives a full in-depth knowledge of solving real-life problems with Java (using multiple classes) and by the end of this course (which is flexible to complete between 1-6 months), you’ll be working on some of the most fascinating projects like predictive text generator, sorting earthquake data and much more. Besides this, below are some of the major highlights of this course:

  • Introduction
  • Earthquakes: Programming and Interfaces
  • Earthquakes: Sorting Algorithms
  • N-Grams: Predictive Text
  • Java: Tools and Libraries for Everyone

Key Takeaway: The duration of this course can be picked from 1-6 months as per your convenience and is a well-crafted course for beginner-level programmers.

Things you’ll learn after completing this course:

  • Use of sorting
  • Developing a class for comparable interface
  • Use of OOPs for multiple approaches
  • Hiding implementation decisions 
  • Use of exception handling, static method, packages, etc.

Why Learn System Design?

System Design is worthy art of managing distributed systems and being a developer it becomes your priority if you want to move up into your hierarchy. For example, if you’re a front-end or mobile app developer, you’re required to perform interaction of various distributed systems via APIs. In fact, the truth is, the more you’ll learn about system design, (which is a must-to-do), the more you’ll become proficient with modern tools and technologies. 

You can achieve to be among the best developer who can use design patterns and help in building scalable systems only if you have knowledge of the overall architecture for distributed systems. This can eventually help you to advance in your career the moment you’ll start working within its architecture.

**This list is prepared by our internal team after a comprehensive research practice. You can opt for any of the course(s) mentioned in the list (or other than these), based on your own requirements & preferences, to start learning System Design. Though, irrespective of the course you choose, be consistent and dedicated to the learning process to achieve the targeted goals. ** 

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In conclusion, mastering System Design is essential for developers looking to advance their careers, especially if they aspire to join leading product-based companies like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon. These companies often evaluate candidates based on their understanding of system design principles. By enrolling in one of the recommended courses, you can enhance your problem-solving skills, prepare for interviews, and gain valuable insights into designing scalable systems.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer, these courses offer a structured approach to learning System Design, providing you with the necessary skills to excel in your career. Invest in your learning today and unlock new opportunities in the world of software development.


How do I learn System Design step-by-step?

Learning system design would require you to segregate the learning path and taking baby steps can help you in mastering the system design and architecture. We recommend you follow this article for best guidance – Complete Roadmap to Learn System Design. 

What are the top questions asked by the Interviewer in System Design?

If you’re rigorously preparing to crack a system design interview, we recommend you to follow this Top 10 System Design Interview Questions and Answers for the best reference.

Is system design important for freshers?

Getting your hands-on experience with system design and architecture will always give you a surplus especially if you’re at the beginner’s stage. If you won’t learn it at an early stage, you’ll eventually have to start working on system design as you’ll be moving forward in your professional journey.

Resources for System Design Interview Preparation:

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