Editor’s note: This article was revised on 28 April 2023 to update pricing information and other details. We also added 10 more product management certification programs to the list.
Certifications are often used as a way to accelerate career growth opportunities. Considering there aren’t many degrees specializing in product management, certifications can be a great way to prove to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills to lead a product team.
Product management certifications recognize individuals who possess the knowledge and skills required to succeed in product management. PMs and aspiring product professionals often pursue certifications to prove to employers they have the skills required to complete a job or perform well in a given role.
Certifications vary from organization to organization. Some are conducted online, others are in-person. Some certifications may offer practical, hands-on learning experiences while others only require participants to pass an exam.
A product management certification is not a strict requirement to become a product manager. However, it can give you a leg up in your career journey. Certifications can help you stand out from the competition, demonstrate your commitment to professional growth, and provide you with valuable skills and knowledge that can enhance your performance in your role.
Employers often value candidates who have pursued certifications because it indicates a proactive approach to learning and staying current with industry trends. Certifications can also give you opportunities network with other professionals and gain access to exclusive resources and communities.
There are various product management certifications available, including both general certifications and programs specializing in things such as agile product management. Depending on your career goals, experience level, and industry, selecting the right certification can help you advance in your career and excel as a product manager.
There are a few aspects to consider to determine whether a product management certification is worth the investment. Let’s review some factors that can sway your decision as to whether a product management certification is worth pursuing.
Product management certifications often come with a hefty price tag — is it a good investment?
Ideally, your employer would cover these types of educational expenses. But if you’re left to pay the bill, you need to consider your budget and the potential ROI before taking a certification course.
“Certifications are a great way to get some professional recognition and build your resume, but they’re not the only way to go,” said Will Yang, head of growth at Instrumentl. “If you’ve got a real passion for product management, then you should be able to do it without a certification — and save yourself some money in the process.”
Logan Mallory, VP at Motivosity, noted that certifications with robust training programs can be good investments.
“Without a good training component, the certification won’t be nearly as useful,” said Mallory.
Deeper, more specialized knowledge comes with a full training program.
“This will be far more useful because you don’t just have a piece of paper with a credential, you have skills to back it up.”
Often, employers are looking for candidates who have previous business or tech experience. If you’ve already worked in a related industry for a few years, you may find it easier to get a junior product manager position. Taking your current skill set and finding an entry point to product management may happen without a need to get a certification.
“Getting certified can work to anyone’s advantage, but the practical application of skills and the learning-by-doing approach is what is necessary to become good at the job,” said Stacey Kane, business development lead at EasyMerchant.
“Familiarizing yourself with the different frameworks, models, and tools around product planning can be helpful in your role but the actual application and learning are what will truly define how good you are as a product manager.”
There comes a time in every product manager’s career when they need to take a step further to prove their expertise. While Yang doesn’t think it’s necessary to get certifications to enter product management, it can help to advance your career.
“If you’re looking to move into a higher-level position or get more experience, then it’s worth investing in some certifications,” said Yang. “But this isn’t something that should be rushed or taken lightly; it’s about what you want and need out of your career, and nothing else matters if that’s not what you want.”
It’s important to research product management certifications to determine whether they’re a good match for you and your career path.
“Consider first what drives you to pursue a certification in product management,” said Manu Sood, Product Manager at ProofHub.
Maybe you’re completely new to product management and want to discover whether it’s the right career path for you. This type of person will probably need a different certification than someone who has several years of experience in product management.
When evaluating product management certifications, TJ Lokboj, Founder of SyndicationPro, suggested considering four factors to choose the right program:
“I believe the best product management certification is one that is relevant to your career path at this moment,” said Lokboj. “Some companies can even have a program specifically designed for employees looking to advance their careers. But whichever route you take, make sure to find a program that is affordable and offered by a reputable company or university.”
Having a product management certification under your belt can help you stand out in a growing crowd of candidates vying for PM jobs at tech companies around the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting in the field, pursuing a certification can boost your knowledge, skills, and credibility. With a wide range of options available, it’s essential to find the one that best fits your needs and career goals.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve listed 15 of the best product management certifications along with details pertaining to the following:
These certifications cater to various skill levels, interests, and budgets, and some include both free and paid options. While some are fully online, others offer opportunities for in-person education and networking.
Without further ado, here are 15 of the best certification programs that deserve every product manager’s consideration:
The Certified Technical Product Manager program offered by ProductHQ targets product managers who want to strengthen their technical skills and knowledge. This program focuses on understanding technical aspects, working closely with engineering teams, and managing products that involve complex technical components.
Earning this certification enables you to better handle the technical responsibilities of your role, collaborate more effectively with engineering teams, and make better-informed decisions throughout the product development process. The ProductHQ Certified Technical PM certification stands out due to its emphasis on preparing product managers for specialized roles in technology-focused industries.
The Certified Technical Product Manager certification by ProductHQ is worth pursuing for product managers who want to excel in technology-focused industries or those who work closely with engineering teams. This certification allows product managers to enhance their technical skills, making them more competitive in the job market and better equipped to handle the technical aspects of product management.
The Product Manager Certification (PMC) by Product School is an ideal starting point for those aiming to become product managers. Taught by experienced product leaders from renowned companies such as Google, Meta, and Netflix, this program focuses on providing practical, product-focused skills and networking opportunities.
Participants engage in live online sessions with their instructors, using real-world PM tools to build products and solve problems.
The Product Manager Certification (PMC) is an excellent choice for those looking to break into the product management field. The program is taught by industry-leading product leaders, ensuring that participants gain practical skills and a robust professional network.
Additionally, the flexible scheduling options make it easy for learners to fit the program into their busy lives, while the interactive online instruction and hands-on learning opportunities prepare students to excel in their future product management roles.
The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) is the world’s largest professional association for product managers, brand managers, product marketing managers, and related fields. The Certified Product Manager (CPM) program is a certification offered by AIPMM, designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in product management, including market planning, competitor research, product specifications, and product lifecycle modeling.
This certification is internationally recognized and highly valued in the industry.
Pursuing the Certified Product Manager (CPM) certification from AIPMM is an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to the product management profession and to differentiate yourself in the job market. The AIPMM is an internationally recognized organization with members from over 65 countries, making the certification globally relevant and valuable.
Additionally, earning the CPM certification provides access to a vast network of professionals and resources, further enhancing your career development opportunities.
The Brand and Product Management specialization, offered on Coursera and created by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, targets product managers, brand managers, and marketing professionals who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of brand and product management principles.
The program covers essential topics, such as customer-centricity, brand strategy, product development, and strategic decision-making. Participants will learn how to create and manage a strong brand, develop innovative products, and drive customer satisfaction.
This specialization is distinguished for its focus on both branding and product management, making it a unique and valuable learning opportunity for professionals looking to break through and excel in those areas.
The Brand and Product Management specialization is an excellent choice for professionals who want to hone their skills in both branding and product management, as it offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers both areas in depth. The program’s focus on customer-centric marketing and strategic decision-making makes it highly relevant to today’s competitive marketplace.
Additionally, the flexibility of the self-paced online format and the availability of a free audit option make it accessible to a wide range of learners.
The Real-World Product Management specialization is great for aspiring and early-career PMs who want to take their development to the next level and impress the powers that be in their new roles.
The MicroMasters Program in Digital Transformation Leadership, offered by Boston University, is tailored for professionals aiming to lead digital transformation initiatives within their organizations. The program equips participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to drive change, manage complex projects, and implement innovative strategies.
Learners will delve into various digital technologies, understand their impact on business models, and develop leadership skills to successfully navigate the digital landscape. With a focus on real-world case studies and practical application, this program sets itself apart by preparing participants for the ever-evolving digital era.
The MicroMasters® Program in Digital Transformation Leadership is perfect for professionals seeking to lead digital initiatives within their organizations and make a significant impact in the age of digital disruption. Boston University’s reputation for excellence and the program’s focus on real-world case studies make it a valuable investment for those aspiring to advance their careers in digital leadership. Furthermore, the program’s flexible online format and interactive components cater to a wide range of learning styles and preferences.
Northwestern University hosts this online product strategy course aimed at helping students learn about each stage of the product life cycle. The Kellogg School of Management is one of the most recognized business schools in the U.S., and its Product Strategy certification gives PMs and aspiring PMs an opportunity to learn from world-renowned experts.
The Product Strategy certification program is designed for product managers, product marketing managers, and executives seeking to develop and execute product strategies that drive growth and profitability within their organizations. Participants will learn how to utilize the Kellogg Seven Elements Framework to create buyer personas, develop positioning and messaging, and make pricing and distribution decisions.
The program also covers leveraging data and analytics to inform product decisions and creating a motivating vision that attracts both customers and employees.
Students do more than just take notes and exams, though. The certification also includes applied learning opportunities. Throughout the program, students gain hands-on experience by completing real-world exercises. Successful students walk away with valuable skills to demonstrate their product management expertise.
The Product Strategy certification by Northwestern Kellogg is ideal for product managers, product marketing managers, and executives who want to develop and execute product strategies that drive growth and profitability for their organizations. The Kellogg Seven Elements Framework is a proprietary tool that is widely used in the industry, making this certification particularly valuable for those looking to advance their careers in product management.
Additionally, the program is interactive and hands-on, allowing participants to apply the concepts they learn immediately. The Kellogg School of Management is a well-respected institution, adding credibility to the certification.
The Product Management Certificate Program offered by Berkeley Executive Education is designed to prepare participants for a long career in product management. This program focuses on understanding customers’ needs, improving team performance, and developing strategies to be competitive in the marketplace.
This certification is suitable for individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of product management and aiming to advance their careers in the field. The blended learning approach ensures participants gain knowledge and practical experience, allowing them to apply what they learn immediately.
Berkeley Executive Education is a well-regarded institution, so its certifications carry a lot of weight, making it an ideal choice for go-getters and particularly aspirational PMs.
The Product Manager Certification Course by ProductHQ is designed for aspiring product managers and those looking to transition into the field, regardless of their current industry.
This course covers essential product management fundamentals, hands-on project creation, and provides insider strategies to excel in product management interviews. It is a comprehensive, interactive program that helps students build a solid foundation in product management, create their own PM project, and gain confidence to stand out in the workforce.
The Product Manager Certification Course is distinct from the Certified Technical Product Manager program, which is also offered by ProductHQ. While both courses focus on product management, they cater to different audiences and emphasize distinct aspects of the field. The Product Manager Certification Course is a foundational course for those new to the field or transitioning from another industry, while the Certified Technical Product Manager program is designed for experienced product managers looking to strengthen their technical skills and knowledge.
This certification is especially valuable for those looking to break into the product management field or transition from another industry. The interactive nature of the course ensures students can immediately apply their knowledge to a hands-on PM project, making them more attractive to potential employers. Access to an extensive product manager community on Slack provides networking opportunities and insights from industry leaders.
The Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF) certification by Scrum.org is aimed at individuals who want to build a strong foundation in scrum and agile principles. It is suitable for team members, managers, and anyone involved in agile projects or planning to adopt scrum.
The course covers scrum theory, roles, events, and artifacts, allowing participants to understand and apply scrum practices effectively. The interactive course also includes team-based exercises and simulations, providing hands-on experience in a real-world context.
The PSF certification is a stepping stone toward more advanced scrum certifications and sets candidates apart in the competitive job market.
The Professional Scrum Foundations certification is perfect for those looking to establish a strong foundation in scrum and agile principles. The hands-on, interactive course ensures participants can apply their learnings to real-world situations, making them more effective team members and increasing their value in the job market. Completing this program also puts you in a good position to pursue more advanced training, such as scrum master certifications.
The New Product Development Professional Certification (NPDP) is a globally recognized certification for product managers and innovators. Run by the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), the program is designed specifically for professionals involved in the development and management of new products and services.
The certification covers key aspects of product development, such as strategy, portfolio management, new product development processes, tools, and metrics. Earning the NPDP certification demonstrates your commitment to staying up-to-date on best practices in product management and innovation, and it can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.
The PDMA NPDP certification is an excellent choice for product managers looking to establish their expertise and stand out among their peers. If you’re a product manager or innovator looking to validate your knowledge and skills in new product development, the PDMA NPDP certification is extremely valuable. This globally recognized certification can help you stand out in the job market and demonstrate your commitment to staying current on industry best practices.
The Pragmatic Institute Certification is one of the most well-known product management certification programs. The certification includes eight courses.
While you can opt to take individual courses that interest you, the product management certification requires completion of four courses: Foundations, Build, Design, and Focus. Alternatively, you can pursue the product marketing certification, which encompasses the Foundations, Launch, Market, and Price courses.
To obtain the product master certification, you must take all seven of the aforementioned courses, plus the Insight course.
While pursuing certification can help a product manager’s case for a salary increase, experienced professionals may also choose to take a specific course to improve their skill set. The program focuses on implementing a proven, practical blueprint for becoming truly market-driven, with over 200,000 certifications issued worldwide.
The Pragmatic Institute Certification is an excellent choice for product managers and product marketers looking to master a practical and market-driven approach to product development and marketing. The certification is widely recognized in the industry, with over 200,000 certified professionals worldwide.
Additionally, the program provides access to a comprehensive learning ecosystem, including hands-on practice, a global community of alumni, and resources to help turn training into action. This certification will help you develop the skills needed to create products that people actually want to buy and boost your career growth.
The Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner (ACPMPO) certification program is another great course offered by AIPMM. It is designed primarily for product managers and product owners who want to hone their skills in agile methodologies.
With a strong focus on real-world application, the ACPMPO certification stands out for its comprehensive approach to Agile and its recognition across various industries. Earning this certification demonstrates your proficiency in agile product management and ownership, allowing you to stand out in a competitive job market.
If you’re a product manager or product owner looking to excel in agile environments and improve your adaptability to changing market demands, the Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner certification is a worthwhile investment. This certification not only elevates your agile expertise but also enhances your marketability and credibility in the industry.
The Product Management: Accelerated certification from Stanford Continuing Studies is a 10-week program covering everything from product strategy to running operational sprints. Because it is a cohort program, this product management certification gives students the opportunity to network with their peers and receive personalized, live feedback.
The program is designed for current and aspiring product managers who want to deepen their understanding of product management principles and best practices. The course covers various topics, including product strategy, customer research, and agile methodologies. It stands out among competitors for its world-class instructors, rigorous curriculum, and focus on real-world scenarios.
Stanford claims this certification is for aspiring or junior product managers. While it provides a great overview of product management, it’s also an expensive investment.
This certification may be best for students who are already sure of their career path in product management. The program’s focus on real-world applications, expert instruction, and rigorous curriculum make it a valuable investment for product managers who want to accelerate their career trajectory.
Product Management Foundations by Reforge is a comprehensive online certification program designed for product managers at all stages of their careers. The course covers essential product management topics, such as product strategy, prioritization, and growth.
This certification stands out for its practical approach, offering real-world examples, case studies, and exercises to ensure that participants can immediately apply the knowledge they’ve gained.
The Product Management Foundations certification by Reforge is ideal for product managers looking to strengthen their foundational skills and gain a competitive edge in the job market. With its comprehensive curriculum and real-world examples, this certification provides the knowledge and tools needed to excel in product management roles across various industries.
In addition to its Brand and Product Management program, Coursera offers a Real-World Product Management specialization that focuses in large part on helping you impress during your next (or even first) product manager interview and role.
Not everyone is 100 percent convinced that product management is the right career path for them. If you’re still determining whether product management is something you want to pursue, you should look for a course that covers the basic knowledge and skills of a product manager. Real-World Product Management checks all those boxes with reasonably prices courses.
The program’s emphasis on practical learning makes the Real-World Product Management certification particularly valuable for those looking to level up their expertise and make an immediate impact in their role.
To make it a bit easier to digest that information, we’ve compiled all the details mentioned above into a handy table:
|Certification program||Price||Free option?||Online or in-person?||Interactive components||Duration|
|Certified Technical Product Manager by ProductHQ||$399||No||Online||Access to large Slack community||10 weeks, 5 hours of study per week
Lifetime access to videos and updated course material
|Product Manager Certification (PMC) by Product School||Prices vary depending on courses and package; 0 percent financing options start at $154/mo.||Employer sponsorship option||Both||Live online sessions with renowned product leaders, hands-on learning with real PM tools, group exercises, and case studies||8 weeks, equivalent to ≈40 hours of work|
|Certified Product Manager (CPM) by AIPMM||$3,495||No||Both||Interactive course materials and hands-on activities||Varies depending on the course format|
|Brand and Product Management by Coursera||$49/mo.||Free audit option||Online||Peer-reviewed assignments, quizzes, and discussion forums||≈4 months at 4 hours/week (self-paced)|
|MicroMasters Program in Digital Transformation Leadership by BU||$1,995||Free audit option||Online||Interactive exercises, discussions, and opportunities for peer collaboration||9 months (4–7 hours per week)|
|Product Strategy by Northwestern Kellogg||$2,850||No||Online||Interactive and hands-on activities in every module||2 months|
|Product Management Certificate Program by Berkeley Executive Education||$7,950||No||Both||Customized video lectures, readings, discussions, colleague surveys, exercises, and a simulation game||6 weeks of online content + 1 week of in-person sessions|
|Product Manager Certification Course by ProductHQ||$350||No||Online||Hands-on project creation and access to Slack community||Self-paced|
|Professional Scrum Foundations by Scrum.org||Prices vary depending on the training provider, typically ranging from $800 to $1,200||No||Both||Team-based exercises and simulations||2 days (16 hours) with a fixed schedule|
|New Product Development Professional Certification (NPDP) by PDMA||The NPDP certification costs $995 for PDMA members and $1,495 for nonmembers. Exam retake fees are $400 for PDMA members and $600 for nonmembers||No||Both||None||Self-paced|
|Pragmatic Institute Certification||Varies by course; most courses cost $1,295||No||Both||Yes, the program includes hands-on, targeted practice and real-world examples||Varies by course|
|Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner by AIPMM||$1,495 for non-AIPMM members and $1,295 for AIPMM members. The price includes the exam fee and course materials||No||Online||Yes||Self-paced, typically ≈20–30 hours|
|Product Management: Accelerated by Stanford||$4,995 for the entire course||No||Online||Yes||10 weeks, with a structured schedule that requires weekly participation|
|Product Management Foundations by Reforge||Offers a single pricing tier for the certification program||No||Online||Yes||V6–8 weeks, ≈4–6 hours per week|
|Real-World Product Management by Coursera||$49 per month with a 7-day free trial||7-day free trial||Online||Yes||Self-paced, typically ≈4–6 months|
Product management, especially if you are in tech, is constantly evolving. Product managers need to stay adaptable to keep up with the changing tides and deliver fresh, crowd-pleasing products and features.
There is a product management course for every stage of the PM’s career, whether you’re thinking of switching careers or have several years of experience in product management. Evaluate courses carefully and consider your time commitment, investment, and career stage to determine which product management certification program is best for you.
Featured image source: IconScout
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