If you’ve been in the product marketing world as long as I have, you know that one of the best ways to expand your knowledge is by attaining a product management certification. Though it’s not a not staunch requirement and you can build a career without one, you might also be limiting your growth.
The product industry is in constant flux and is ever-changing. As a result, that one online program or training course you did last year probably isn’t as relevant today.
This is where certification programs come into play. After you pass a certification exam, you are a certified product management professional. However, almost all certification programs require you to retake exams after a certain period to make sure you’re up to date with the latest developments.
For example, a product manager will constantly be renewing their certifications to learn about developments in product strategy, product launches, and new product ideas. This is how you advance your product management knowledge and career without becoming obsolete.
It’s safe to say the expertise gained from these certifications and product management courses can help you work wonders. Along with my hands-on experience in scaling product companies, such certifications helped me launch The Product Company, a company that connects you with high-level freelancers and consultants.
In this post, I’ll detail the 8 best product management courses you should strive for in 2020.
Let’s jump right in.
Why Product Manager HQ for the Best Product Management Certification?
Product Manager HQ is known to provide some of the most detailed, complete, and insightful certification courses in the product management industry. It has training courses for both industry professionals and newcomers.
PMHQ has a wide range of courses on its site that dive deep into topics like new product management, product development, product lifecycle, design thinking, project management, and developing product roadmaps.
The best certification you will find at PMHQ is their One Week PM. I would say it’s the ideal certification for people looking to kickstart a career in product management. However, even successful product managers can learn a lot by completing the certification.
The certification is divided into several courses and you’re given access to loads of audio and video interviews with industry experts. After you’re certified, you get access to the world’s first and biggest product manager Slack community. The ever-growing community has more than 7,000 product managers, industry experts, and learning product professionals.
8 Top Product Management Certifications
Take it from me, having just one certification may be enough to get you moving forward in your career, but it won’t give you all the knowledge you need.
For that reason, I compiled a list of the top product management certifications you can and should do. They’re listed according to how much value they provide, so if you want to do more than one certification, it’s best to go down the list one by one.
1. One Week PM by PM HQ
Price: $197 & $497
Duration: 1 week
One Week PM by PMHQ is growing to be one of the most wanted certifications in the United States. It’s a week-long course that dives into the basics of product management.
The entire course is focused on the importance of implementing what you learn. PMHQ has made the entire one week course interactive and you are encouraged to apply each lesson you learn. You can apply it to your current job, product management project, or through the various activities in the course.
One Week PM is divided into several small video lectures. Each day, there are about ten video lectures along with some extra resources. The resources include exclusive audio and video interviews with renowned product management professionals. You will also find several product management templates such as personas, user experience charts, social media calendars, and product team checklists. Think of the additional resources as an FAQ for the course.
The course’s instructor, Kevin Lee, goes over several PM frameworks, as well. This includes frameworks for answering product manager interview questions and techniques on how you can build a strong PM resume.
You’ll also learn how to write product specs, develop timelines, and compete with other great products. The course also briefly explains things like wireframing, prototyping, and how you can conduct usability tests.
Additionally, you can learn how to craft your own product manager case studies and set up entire PM projects.
Perhaps the best thing about it is that if you get the premium package, you get lifetime access to One Week PM. This means you can take advantage of course updates. You also gain access to a 1:1 mentorship program and a Slack community of over 7,000 product management professionals.
2. Professional Scrum Foundations Training by Scrum (PSM I Certification)
Price: Quoted by Scrum.org
Duration: 2 days
The Professional Scrum Foundations Training program by Scrum is for product managers who want to develop and increase their Scrum knowledge. Scrum is one of the most well-known process frameworks used to streamline product development using agile methods.
After you complete the course, you get a free attempt at the Professional Scrum Master I Certification Exam. It’s a globally recognized certification that is bound to put you on the industry’s radar.
The 2-day course is based on theoretical material and team-based exercises. After the concepts are explained, team members are told to work in series of Sprints to build a product. Including real-world implications, members are asked to proceed according to their understanding.
You also get access to several case studies that can help in software product management. Software product managers tend to prefer this course for this exact reason.
3. Brand and Product Manager Certification Course by Coursera
Price: Free to enroll.
Duration: 13 hours
The Brand and Product Manager Certification by Coursera focuses on the importance of working on product management and brand management together.
It’s designed by Luis Rodriguez Baptista who’s a professor at IE University and Marketing Consultant. The course is extremely concise and explains the product lifecycle and how employees can deliver the brand promises.
By the end of the course, you will be able to create activity plans, define metrics of success, and understand how to develop product strategies.
The course will also have you complete graded assessments at different intervals. If you pass all of them, you’ll earn the completion certificate that you can showcase on different platforms, such as LinkedIn.
4. Product Management Certification by Product School
Duration: 8 weeks
The Product Management Certification by Product School is considered as a shortcut to becoming a PM expert. The certification can be done online or at any of the 20 locations worldwide.
The course has 40 hours of classes and 16 hours of guest lectures spread across 8 weeks. It also has several interactive projects that will require some extra time outside of the time spent in ‘class.’
The instructors of the course work at and are affiliated with some of the top companies and organizations such as Amazon, Airbnb, and UC Berkeley.
The Product Management Certification was designed for relatively new product managers, product owners, and professionals. However, you can also find certifications for advanced professionals on the Product School’s website.
5. Digital Product Management by EdX and Boston University
Duration: Depends on your class dates
The Digital Product Management program by EdX and Boston University is a MicroMaster degree. It includes several next level graduate courses from Boston University.
The certification focuses on digital product management based on lean, agile, and system design thinking. It also dives deep into platform product strategy, digital innovation, business analytics, and social media marketing of products.
It provides product management training on how to conduct user research, create products, and refine them through rapid iteration.
The best part about it is that after you receive your certification, you can apply to Boston University’s MSDi program without having to take any tests.
You will have to put aside at least 5-10 hours every week for about 2 months to complete the program. However, you’ll have access to several instructors, giving you exposure to different backgrounds and perspectives.
The program is best for established product management experts who want to formalize their experience using a certification from a renowned institution.
6. Product Strategy by Northwestern | Kellogg School of Management
Duration: 2 months
The Product Strategy certification by the Northwestern | Kellogg School of Management is one of the few product management certifications that is focused only on product strategy.
The program explains how to develop product strategies, manage them, and how to leverage technology such as machine learning to streamline them.
It helps identify loopholes in product lifecycles and helps you understand different business models. It also teaches you how to create buyer personas and optimize your sales funnel.
You’re provided with tools to target customers, design messages, and develop channels to reach out to prospects.
It’s best to dedicate at least 4 to 6 hours to the program every week since you’ll only receive your certification if you complete the program with a score of 80% or above.
7. Product Management Program by Berkeley Executive Education
Duration: 5 days
The Product Management Program by Berkeley Executive Education is designed to summarize the fundamentals and advanced concepts of product management.
The program focuses on helping you understand the customer environment, customer experiences, and how you can increase your product team’s performance.
The instructor, Dr. Sara Beckman, is there to help resolve any queries throughout the program. The program also includes customized reading material and video lectures. It provides exercises, colleague surveys, and a simulation game.
You will also learn how to create pricing tools and systems to optimize product and product-line profitability. Furthermore, you’ll learn how to manage your team, as well as, how to make informed product decisions.
You can discuss ideas, problems, and the courses with classmates since they will also be PM experts. The program is great for established PM professionals looking to add another certification to their resume. The only bad thing about the program is its price tag. However, there are assistance programs to help pay that amount off.
8. Agile Certified Product Manager Credentials (CPM) by AIPMM
Price: $125 for one-year AIPMM Membership and $1,495 for the exam and certification.
Duration: Self-paced - the exam may take around 15-20 hours
The Certified Product Manager Credentials certification by AIPMM is a testament to your product management expertise.
The certification is designed by the AIPMM Certifying Board and provides a step-by-step guide to launching and championing new products.
It aims to help you develop a diverse skillset that can help plan and carry out internal activities and product plans. You’ll learn how to write entire business plans and develop strategies at different product development stages.
Furthermore, you’ll be polishing skills such as market planning, competitive analysis, and product launch plans. After you’re done, you will be taking the AIPMM CPM certification exam, which has 18 modules.
Become a Certified Product Manager Today
The aforementioned certifications are the best options if you want to become a product manager.
They’re the most sought out certifications and programs and not everyone is able to pass them. Completing these certifications helps others realize your drive to become a better product management professional.
Any decent product manager will recognize the value of continually pursuing knowledge through certified courses and certifications. They would want to be surrounded by industry experts and constantly try to learn about industry changes.
It’s always better to acquire new skills in different product management fields. For example, you might learn how to become a product consultant or how you can excel at being a technical product manager.
You can also find learning material through platforms such as Udemy. Furthermore, you can complete various product management courses online.
There are lots of ways you can advance your product management knowledge and your career, in general. However, it’s always better to convert all that knowledge into a certification.
Personally, I would recommend you start with One Week PM by PMHQ.