Product management is the practice of planning, developing, and producing products that customers need. As a product manager, you’ll help to oversee the strategy around pricing and marketing a product, as well as the most exciting part: launching it to market.
Several teams work together in collaboration to execute this process, and you’ll balance priorities between all of them. A product manager leads the teams through the product launch lifecycle, providing clarity and scope to each stakeholder.
Sound like a fit? Let’s take a closer look at what product managers do 9-5, and the courses you should consider if you’re ready for a career change.
What Does a Product Manager Do?
The main responsibility of a product manager is to manage the development of a product from beginning to end. Companies and businesses are continually making new products for their customers or their own use. The whole process of creating a product requires a product management roadmap to define the moving parts and keep every process in line and on track. This ensures that all the teams and departments are in sync and are on the same page.
A product manager is responsible for each developmental phase, while keeping in mind the overall vision for the product. The key functions of a product manager include:
- Researching the target market, customers, and competition.
- Developing goals and objectives, along with an estimate of the timeline of the product launch.
- Developing a strategic plan and presenting it to key stakeholders.
- Coordinating with teams like product marketing and development.
- Analyzing feedback received from users of the product’s previous iterations, if available, and acting on that data.
- Incorporating feedback into future developments of the product.
Product Management Courses
If the idea of managing the product lifecycle and contributing to the success of a business interests you, then product management could be a great career choice for you. The role demands a high degree of skill, expertise, and business acumen—so the first step is to get educated.
Product management is usually a second-step position, so most people considering entering the field will have completed a degree in business, engineering or management, and may even have some tech industry experience under their belt. But there are a number of online courses and certification programs that can then hone your expertise and point you toward a product management career track, even without a degree
Several reputable universities and platforms offer product management courses. These courses will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to succeed in product management, as well as offer real world experiences to kickstart your career.
We’ve selected a handful of the most popular and respected programs—including our own of course—to save you some of the hassle in figuring out which course will be the best for you.
Product Management Bootcamp – Thinkful
This course aims to help you gain meaningful insights into product management. In this course, you’ll learn:
- How to think like a product manager
- Product discovery
- Building projects
- Launching and iterating on products
You’ll be guided through the following topics:
- Product-market fit: You’ll learn the popular frameworks for shipping successful products and about product platforms like SAAS, Mobile, Games, and IoT.
- Strategy and road-mapping: This topic will teach you how to develop and build a product vision.
- UX design and iteration: You’ll find out how to translate user feedback into requirements your team can act on.
- Building and engineering: You’ll gain expertise in engineering methodologies, engineering processes, and technologies.
- Product support infrastructure and nurturing: This will familiarize you with the requirements of a product launch, like marketing, pricing, customer support, and privacy and security considerations.
This course is 100% online. It’s geared for anyone who wants to start a career in product management, for professionals looking to transition into the field, and for professionals who are already working in product management and want to improve their skills.
To help you implement the skills you’ve learned, this course will give you an opportunity to work on a capstone project. Other perks of the course include one-on-one mentorship, career coaching, and a job placement guarantee. Find out more about this online Product Management course.
Product Management Course Bundle – PM Loop
This course teaches you the responsibilities of a product manager. There are four courses in the bundle that will help you learn how to:
- Implement popular product management tools, including roadmaps, prototypes, competitive analysis, portfolio management, and personas.
- Understand prioritization frameworks, apply user stories, and team focus strategies to help align your product vision and goals.
- Develop meaningful relationships with your team and earn their trust through understanding their expectations.
- Mentor and manage junior product managers.
The duration of the course bundle is six hours and the tuition costs $396. To help you test your learning, the course bundle comes with study guides, exercises, and sample questions for the interview.
Certified Product Manager Online Course and Exam – 280 Group
This course is ideal for new and mid-level product managers who want to learn the core skills of product management, students who want to start a career in product management, or experienced product managers who want to polish their skills and revise their knowledge. Organizations can also use this course to optimize their product management function.
The goal of this course is to teach you:
- How to efficiently manage products across all stages of the product lifecycle.
- The core skills and concepts to be an effective product manager.
Topics covered in the course include:
- Core concepts of product management like key skills, strategies, tactics, and the terminology needed to manage any product.
- A seven-phase framework called Optimal Product Process that covers the full product lifecycle.
- All the necessary information required to pass the Certified Product Manager exam.
This online course and exam takes 15 to 20 hours to finish and is completely self-paced. The total cost of the course is $1,495.
Brand and Product Management Course – IE Business School
This course is designed for experienced product managers or those looking to refresh their brand management expertise. The course teaches you how to identify vital information needed to develop a valuable and successful product and brand strategy. You’ll gain exposure to topics like:
- Product lifecycle
- How to define the right metrics
- Building your brand portfolio
- Upskilling your team with the knowledge and skills to help them deliver the brand promise
The course is made up of around 13 hours of content.
Product Management First Steps – LinkedIn Learning
This course covers the six stages of the product lifecycle:
You’ll be taught the main responsibilities of a product manager, which includes tasks like working with a product team, coordinating with different teams and departments, and how to define a product. This course will teach you the process that’s required to launch the best possible product.
The course includes eight chapter quizzes and you should be able to knock it over in under two hours.
Product Management Certification – Product School
In this course, you’ll learn the basics of managing a product lifecycle, including:
- Problem-solving for products
- How to identify market opportunities
- Understanding common Agile methodology like Scrum for creating tech products
- How to test the way your product idea will be perceived by the consumers
Start Researching the Field of Product Management
If you’re researching product management courses, then you’ve probably already made up your mind that this is the right tech track for you. And if you’re motivated, you can start learning the basics for free, right in your own living room, before enrolling with a bootcamp.
Get advice from other product managers so you know what to expect before entering the field and starting your first Product Management job. Find out how much you can expect to make once you’re hired. And while you’re at it, you may as well check out other, closely related career tracks, like project management and program management.
Next Steps to Start Your Career
If you’re ready to get serious about your product management career, Thinkful’s Product Management course is the most comprehensive program out of the options listed above and offers the added bonus of a job placement guarantee. You can start today with a free trial or speak to one of our helpful advisors who can guide you through everything you need to know.