Product management, particularly in the tech industry, is acknowledged as an exceptionally challenging role. A product manager juggles business, technology, and user experience, and has to build expertise across multiple disciplines. They’re role involves constant prioritizing and organizing, as well as a solid understanding of how distinct teams within the company operate.
To manage this many responsibilities, specialized training is essential. A product manager needs to master the latest strategies, techniques, tools, and processes in order to maintain a high-level view of current projects and support upcoming ones.
If you’re looking to earn your stripes as a product manager, one of the best ways to learn new skills is from industry experts. There are a broad range of product management certification courses on the market. And while it’s not a necessity to validate your skills with a certification, it will certainly set you apart from your non-certified counterparts in the field.
To save you some time, we’ve put together a brief list of popular product management certificates, which will hopefully give you a good idea of what’s out there.
Product Management Courses
Product Management Bootcamp from Thinkful
If you’re looking for a structured yet flexible online course that offers an industry-relevant curriculum, one-on-one mentorship, and covers all aspects of product management, then Thinkful’s Product Management course is your best bet. In this online bootcamp, you’ll learn from industry experts about how to manage complete product lifecycles, as well as how to think like a product manager and launch your first product. This course aims at to make you a more strategic product manager, with a greater impact on your company and its products.
You can even try a free 15-day trial. Sign up online for immediate access to course materials, one-on-one mentorship, and career guidance. Any work done during this time counts towards your graduation if you choose to enroll at the end of the 15 day period.
Digital Product Management Certification – University of Virginia from Coursera
Product management is a relatively new field, and the job description is evolving fast. Not long ago, product managers were largely involved in assessing limited amounts of market data and sketching requirements. Today, product management involves troves of data analysis and could put you on the path to senior leadership. This course from Coursera will teach you modern product management tactics, explore new ideas for products, and consider improvements on existing ones.
Digital Product Management Certification – Boston University from edX
This program is actually a master's degree in Digital Product Management, and will teach you how to manage the process of development, launch, and growth of digital products. It includes business analytics, strategic social media marketing, and business strategies among other topics. If you’re looking for an immersive program, this might be the one for you.
Product Strategy from Northwestern – Kellogg School of Management
“Discovering, developing, managing and marketing products as a business” is this course’s tagline–which nicely sums up the program. This course is designed for current professionals involved in a product’s lifecycle, such as business managers and leaders, as well as salespeople who are often indirectly involved. It’s also aimed at those pursuing a more formal product management role. The certificate requires you to achieve marks of at least 80% to complete the program.
Brand and Product Manager Certification Course – Coursera
Luis Rodriguez Baptista, Marketing Consultant and professor at Spain’s prestigious IE University, leads this course. This online certification will help you to manage products ‘from cradle to grave’. On completion of the program, you’ll be able to sketch an activity plan to turn your strategies into action. This course has received great reviews and is definitely worth checking out.
Certified Product Manager Credentials – AIPMM
If your goal is to become a professional in the field, or you’re aiming for a salary hike, this might be the right certification for you. The Certified Product Manager credentials program teaches you how you can stick to standards of excellence and climb your way up in your career. This program was created by the AIPMM Certifying Board, making it an attractive option. It’ll thoroughly familiarize you with all aspects of launching a new product, from design to completion.
Product Management Certificate – Product School
If you’re looking for a platform that focuses solely on product management, this could be the one for you. The Product School’s Product Management Certificate is the first of three certificate courses that can be taken one after the other. If you’re already working in the field, you can skip ahead to the second, which is a Product Leader Certificate. The third is a C-suite level course, Product Executive Certificate, which is restricted to proven leaders in the field.
Product Management Program – Berkeley Executive Education
Berkeley’s Product Management Certificate program is a a six-week online course followed by a five-day, in-person immersive program. The online component includes video lectures, classmate discussions, colleague surveys, exercises, and a simulation game. The program is led by Dr. Sara Beckman, who maintains a consulting practice alongside teaching the course, ensuring the curriculum incorporates up-to-date issues facing companies.
Certified Product Manager – 280Group
This is one of the more extensive programs, with 18 learning modules and multiple quizzes, exercises, and assignments. The modules are divided into two sections—the first covers material from 280Group’s Optimal Product Management and Product Marketing course, and the second gets you ready to pass the Certified Product Manager exam administered by the AIPMM. Once you pass this exam, you’ll have credentials that are recognized and respected globally.
Free Product Management Training Courses – LinkedIn Learning
We couldn’t end our list without throwing in something from LinkedIn Learning—which you may know by its previous name, Lynda. The platform offers free access for a month, meaning you could essentially take a self-guided course in product management for free. You can select classes based on your experience level—beginner, intermediate, or advanced—from the wide range of options available.
Next Steps in Your Product Management Path
If you’re interested in a well-paid job in an exciting and challenging industry, and you think you might have a knack for communication and leadership, then it’s time to become a product manager. The starting salary for most product managers is around $70,000, and can go as high as $140,000. Plus, the industry is growing at a rate of 12% a year—which means you’ll have job stability for years to come.
Head over to Thinkful’s blog to read more about careers in product management (and how much they pay).