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GuidesProduct development6 Best career-boosting product management certifications in 2024

6 Best career-boosting product management certifications in 2024

Last updated

23 March 2023

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

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Product managers help bring new technology to life. As technology improves, the standard required for product managers is ever-increasing. With continual digital transformation across virtually every sector, product managers are in high demand.

So, how can you stand out in this competitive, challenging sector? Product management certification is a great way of doing just that. It can help you:

  • Boost your career

  • Create a solid foundation of knowledge

  • Increase your skill set across the industry

  • Keep up to date with the best processes and latest principles

Certification could be the difference between thriving in the industry, or not. Let’s take a look at the best product management certifications in 2023.

What is a product manager?

The role of product manager is relatively new. With the rise of digital products, businesses increasingly need to manage the process of bringing those products to life.

Ultimately, a product manager ties other teams in the business together. The role intersects the UX teams, technology teams, and other business teams to align everyone and keep the product-development process on track.

Product managers need to be adept at people management, but they also usually do many key tasks themselves, such as research, ideation, testing, and more.

Some key tasks of product managers include: 

  • Understanding what the market wants

  • Empathizing with and deeply understanding customers and their needs

  • Setting products on a defined course

  • Aligning all key teams to ensure the process is succinct and successful

  • Making key decisions about products

What is product management certification?

Product management certification is a form of recognition that you have the skills required to lead product teams.

To complete certification, typically participants are required to complete a course and a final exam. There may also be experience and attendance requirements needed to pass certification.

Many organizations provide product management certification. Some run short, intensive courses while others have longer-form qualifications.

The benefits of certification

As technology evolves at an ever-faster rate, the product management role is continually changing. Regardless of experience level, there’s typically always more to be learned. Gaining certification is one way product managers can help keep themselves at the leading edge—providing better solutions for their company and customers.

As the product manager role is fairly new, there’s no single pathway into the role. Product managers come from a broad range of backgrounds, including development, marketing, IT, and project management. Certification can ensure your foundational knowledge is solidified.

Gaining certification can also provide additional skills to:

  • Round off your knowledge base

  • Boost your career

  • Increase your skill set

  • Make you a more valuable team member

  • Keep you up to date with changes in technology

For those new to the industry, certification is one key way to stand out as an applicant—making you more attractive to employers.

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Top product management certifications in 2023

An evolving industry means that certifications are constantly changing too. To stay competitive and keep your skill base high, it’s helpful to take a well-recognized course.

Take a look at six product management courses that we recommend.

Product HQ: Certified Product Manager

Product HQ is a well-known company that runs a range of courses to help managers learn key tactics, principles, and skills to lead teams and be competitive in the technology and product spaces.

The Certified Product Manager program is world class and top rated. It helps managers reach their potential while gaining the know-how to take on the challenges of their role.

The certification includes:

  • Access to 70 lectures

  • Product manager templates that can be used on the job

  • Interviews with product managers in the industry for a unique perspective

What’s great about it?

The course is short, so you could study for just three hours a week and finish the course in a month. It’s self-paced learning and all conducted online, so it can be completed around a busy role or other studies.

Who is it for?

This could be the ideal course for you if you aren’t sure whether a product manager role is right for you. It covers the fundamentals of the job, giving you an inside look at what the role entails and the best practices. It’s also great for people already in the role who may lack formal background training in product management.

Learn more about the Certified Product Manager course.

New Product Development Professional (NPDP) Certification

The NPDP is an internationally recognized certification that teaches a broad range of product management skills, including:

  • Lifecycle management

  • Portfolio management

  • Organizing and managing teams

You will learn:

  • Techniques for creating a successful product development strategy

  • How to conduct market research

  • Tactics for managing and motivating teams

  • The best tools and metrics to use during the process of product development

What’s great about it?

The NPDP is one of the oldest product management certifications, so it’s well-known and can help you stand out among your peers. It will also help you develop a strong foundation on which to understand product management and lead teams.

Who is it for?

Given the NPDP certification is older and well-known, it’s ideal if you want to boost your career, improve your resume, and hit the ground running as a product manager. Learn more about the New Product Development Professional Certification.

Udemy: Become a Product Manager

Want to upskill without too much groundwork or time away from work? Udemy’s Become a Product Manager course is an accelerated certification helping you to improve your knowledge fast.

During the course, you will:

  • Learn what a product manager does

  • Discover the product life cycle

  • Understand how customer research operates

  • Develop best practices for getting hired in the role

What’s great about it?

Become a Product Manager is a good introductory course and easy for most people to access. It can help you quickly go from zero to understanding key concepts. It could also help you get hired.

Because the course is low impact, you can complete the Udemy course while you’re working, or studying elsewhere.

Who is it for?

As the course is short, it’s best for people looking to quickly upskill at a low cost. It’s ideal for those who know little about product management. The course can help you decide whether product management is for you, provide foundational knowledge, discover most of the basic concepts, and eventually land a product management role.

Learn more about the Become a Product Manager course.

Carnegie Mellon University: Master of Science in Product Management

If you’re looking for something to sink your teeth into, and that will propel you into a product management career, this could be the course for you. Carnegie Mellon University offers a year-long, in-depth, and hands-on training course.

The Carnegie Mellon Business School is ranked the 16th best business school in the US, according to US News rankings for 2022, and many of its graduates have secured coveted jobs at well-known companies.

Students of the Master of Science in Product Management learn a range of business, design, and technology skills to help them become valuable product managers.

What’s great about it?

This qualification can really stand out on a resume, helping to boost your career and differentiate you from other applicants.

Unlike the other courses, this is an intensive one-year commitment, so while it’s great if you’re studying or want to launch a career in product management, it’s probably too big a commitment if you’re already in the industry looking to upskill.

Who is it for?

The Master of Science in Product Management is a good choice if you’re looking to:

  • Gain a qualification from a top-ranked university

  • Hit the ground running in the product management space

  • Stand out among other applicants.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Product Management.

Coursera (IE Business School): Brand and Product Management

Run by IE Business School through Coursera, the Brand and Product Management course will teach you how to create a product brand strategy and bring it to life.

Divided into six modules, the course covers:

What’s great about it?

With only 14 hours of coursework, the Brand and Product Management Course will help employees to improve their knowledge base, and people new to the industry to quickly build a foundation of knowledge.

It’s also 100% online and completely flexible to work around busy schedules.

Who is it for?

As the course is short, it is perfect for:

  • A fast introduction to product management

  • A quick upskill while on the job

  • A low-cost way of improving your core product knowledge

Learn more about the Brand and Product Management course.

AIPMM: Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner™

Agile methodology—a project management method focused on collaboration, flexibility, and customer satisfaction—is becoming increasingly common in product development. Candidates and employees who are agile certified are increasingly in demand.

The AIPMM course covers key product management concepts including:

  • Product management philosophies

  • Leading agile teams

  • Driving successful products to completion

What’s great about it?

Held as two-day courses, with an exam for certification, the AIPMM course can be completed by almost anyone. Because it focuses on the agile methodology, it can build on knowledge from other courses or work experience. Most people, regardless of skill level, will find some benefit in it.

Who is it for?

The course is ideal if you’re looking to quickly upskill to agile methodology best practices—whether to become competitive as a candidate or to better serve a current team.

It’s also great for businesses that want an entire team to complete the course to boost efficiency and introduce agile methodology into their working practices.

Learn more about the Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner™ course.

Do I need product management certification?

There’s no single path to becoming a product manager and there’s not just one perfect qualification either.

While a product management certification isn’t the only way to get into a product management career, it can advance you on the path, help you to upskill, and ensure you better serve your teams.

As product manager roles evolve and become more competitive due to fast-advancing technology, certification can help you to stand out among the crowd and continue growing and evolving. Becoming a certified product manager can help you develop more successful products.

How much does product management certification cost?

The cost of gaining certification varies greatly depending on the course type, delivery, and duration.

It could cost as little as $100 or as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars for a long-term course across a team. Weigh up the potential benefits of gaining certification against the upfront costs and choose a course that fits your budget.

If you’re already working for a company, it’s always worth asking if there’s a training budget. Businesses often want to help their employees reach the next level and upskill—after all, when employees' knowledge improves, the whole business benefits.

Key takeaways about product management certification

If you’re new to product management, certification can help you successfully land a role in product management. It can also help people already working in a product management role to increase their knowledge base, boost their skill set, and stay competitive in a changing industry.

While it’s not critical to gain product management certification, doing so can help you keep up to date with best practices, make use of helpful tactics and principles, and confidently lead a team to launch successful products.

Employers will also reap the benefits of employees taking courses in product management. Certification can boost the whole team’s skills, knowledge, and confidence, ultimately helping the business deliver better products more efficiently.

Could 2023 be the year that you or your business upskill? Doing so could make all the difference.

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