What is a Certified Product Manager?
A certified product manager is a PM who has completed an education program from a product industry organization.
But the term does not have a single, recognized definition. Many product management authorities offer certificate programs. These programs in their content and difficulty levels.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Certified Product Manager?
Unlike a college degree, a product management certificate will not necessarily help a product manager land a job. Few organizations that hire product managers ask for professional certification. But earning a professional certificate does have advantages. For example:
1. Knowledge and skill development
The top certification programs pack a lot of knowledge into their courses. Students learn about product roadmaps, market research, agile, and other concepts and skills.
2. Hands-on experience
The best certification programs do not limit themselves to abstract lessons. They also allow students to learn by doing. For example, students use research to find product ideas and learn to build user personas.
3. Access to product leaders
The most respected certification programs have instructors with real-world experience at industry-dominating companies. Students learn from teachers with successful track records managing products at successful organizations.
3 Examples of Product Manager Certification Programs
Up to this point, we have discussed product manager certificates only in general. Here are a few of our favorite programs:
1. Product School’s Product Manager Certificate
This Product Manager Certificate is a comprehensive program for new product managers, offered by Product School.
One of our favorite things about this 8-week course is that Product School assembles world-class instructors. Past teachers have included product professionals from companies like Google and Spotify.
2. The Pragmatic Institute’s Product Manager Certificate
This Product Management Certificate Program provides a complete view of the product process. The course takes this 6-step approach:
- Foundation – Understanding the scope of product management
- Focus – Leveraging data to build and defend smart product strategies
- Build – Delving into the product building tactics, such as prioritization and team alignment
- Launch – Coordinating the whole company for successful product launches
- Price – Exploring how to strategically price products for maximum success
- Data Science – Understanding the basics of machine learning and data science
3. AIPMM’s Certified Product Manager course catalog
The Association of International Product Marketing and Management is the world’s largest product association. Its Certified Product Manager courses are world-class.
One great aspect of these courses is the range of options. The list of product courses—each offering the “Certified Product Manager” designation—includes:
- Optimal Product Management (for all PM levels)
- Certified Digital Product Manager (at least 3 years of experience)
- Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner (at least 1 year of experience)
Product Manager Certification: Worth Investigating
A certificate provides knowledge and relevant skills that can help you throughout your product management career and provide you access to product leadership.
While becoming a certified product manager may not guarantee a faster path to a job in the industry, completing one of these courses demonstrates your commitment and build your network. If you are lacking product experience a certificate can help your resume stand out. Most importantly the knowledge you gain can help you perform once you land a job as a product manager.