Top Product Management Professional Certifications
Lifelong learning is essential for long-term career success. The product management field is no exception to this. Managers need to find ways to improve their expertise and authenticate their skills, and professional certifications can do just that.
Getting a certification for product management is a practical way to give your resume a boost. It shows employers that you’re equipped with the necessary qualities and experience to flourish in your line of work. Take a look at the best product management certifications of 2021.
Demand for Product Management Skills in 2021
As technology organizations grow, so does the need to employ product managers to oversee current products and launch new ones. A product management career is promising.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer management jobs will experience a 10 percent growth in demand between 2019 and 2029. Among those is project management. With such a promising outlook, getting a certification is vital to remain competitive in the field.
How Much Do Product Management Jobs Pay?
According to PayScale, the average salary of a product management manager is approximately $109,103 a year. However, there is a broad range of salaries in the product management field. These salaries heavily depend on experience, location, and certification.
Why Get a Product Management Certification
You should get a product management certification because it can help you get a better job in the field. A product manager is responsible for how a company’s product will perform in the market. As industries are constantly evolving, you will have to adapt and keep pace with the changes.
This is where a product management certification program comes in handy. The benefits of getting certified will vary based on your career level. Below are some of the best reasons why you should get a product management certification.
A growth mindset is important for a product manager. A professional certification enables product managers to get more opportunities for skills development. Not only can this help you get a better job, but it will help you do better in your day-to-day responsibilities.
As you progress, you’ll want to take on greater responsibilities and move into higher positions. Getting certified as a product manager can impress a hiring manager or your current employer. It shows that you’ve put in the work to be an eligible candidate for promotion.
Professional certification in product management demonstrates your credibility in the field. You’ll be considered a more qualified leader if you are professionally certified. A certification will complement your bachelor’s degree or any prior education. It demonstrates your mastery of the product management fundamentals.
Top Product Management Certifications
Many private and public institutions offer product management certifications. Some institutions provide self-study materials to prepare you for the examination, while others require you to complete training beforehand. Take a look at the best product management certifications below to learn more.
Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner (ACPMPO)
This certification is offered by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). It is designed for product managers of all levels who are new to Agile or transitioning to Agile. Unlike other courses that only focus on the basics of being a product owner, this certification includes core concepts.
This course is exclusively taught by the 280 Group, a product management certified training institution, and is made available online and in person. To qualify for the ACPMPO certification exam, you must have a bachelor’s degree and complete the online course and exam.
Blackblot Product Management Professional Certification (BPMP)
Cost: $237 for three tests
The BPMP certification program tests your level of knowledge on the best practices and proven methods in product management. You will have to be familiar with the Blackblot PMTK Methodology. You will pick up this knowledge through in-person seminars held across US cities.
To be certified, you have to pass the online BPMP core certification tests in product management, planning, and marketing. Blackbot also offers BPMP subspecialty tests for product pricing and product lifecycle modeling.
Certified Digital Product Manager (CDPM)
The CDPM credential demonstrates a thorough understanding of practical skills, processes, and concepts used by digital product managers. Offered by AIPMM, the course ensures you have a complete understanding of different concepts, including lean methodology and design thinking.
To be qualified, you need to complete the live online course and pass the CDPM examination. Throughout your journey, you will have access to additional materials for the exam. The course includes two chances to take and pass the exam within one year of registration.
Certified Product Manager (CPM)
The CPM credential, also offered by AIPMM, demonstrates an individual’s understanding of standards of excellence and commitment to the career. You can gain this credential through a mix of in-person and on-demand learning resources.
Passing the certification exam will prove an in-depth understanding of core product management and product marketing concepts. This is important when managing strategic plans for a product or portfolio.
The examination does not have any specific requirements. However, AIPMM recommends that you have at least three years of work experience or a master’s degree in a related field.
New Product Development (NPD) Professional Certification
Cost: $200 for membership, $250 for exam
Validity: Three years
The NPD Professional Certification is developed and administered by the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). It is offered online. There are no mandatory training courses to complete for the certification.
To earn the certificate, you have to score a passing mark on the NPDP examination. The exam comprises 200 multiple-choice questions in specific areas including portfolio management, new products process, market research, and lifecycle management.
Before applying for the examination, you should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and at least two years of work experience in new product development.
Choosing the Right Certification
Product management certifications prove your aptitude and value within the field. Choosing the right certification program can be challenging. Your work experience and career objective along with the program’s scope will help in the decision-making process.
Consider the work experience or other certifications you’ve acquired. This will help you decide if you should start with an entry-level certification or proceed to an advanced-level certification.
Decide if you’re looking to validate the skills that you’re already confident you have or if you want to challenge yourself. You can then decide which program content is most suited to you.
Having a network of product managers and mentors can be beneficial to your development. Some institutions offer networking and career opportunities for their members. You can also get exam discounts if you are a member of certain organizations.
Professional Certification vs Certificate Program and Courses
There is a difference between a professional certification program and a certificate program. You should familiarize yourself with the differences before making your choice.
Professional certification provides proof of your real-world knowledge, experience, and skills to perform a specific job. It’s usually regulated by a non-government organization and sometimes requires continuous professional development. You’re required to pass an examination before obtaining the certification.
A certificate program is a training course where you’ll receive a certificate upon completion. It’s usually provided by educational institutions or product schools like Product Gym. In many cases, certificate programs do not have any prerequisites.
Best Courses to Prepare for Certification Exams
Some organizations will provide learning materials or training courses to help prepare you for the exam. While these will be helpful, you can consider using different sources to better ready yourself.
One way to do this is to attend courses related to the certification of your choice. We’ve compiled a list of programs that may help you.
Product Management Program by Berkeley Executive Education
Duration: Seven weeks
The Product Management Program from Berkeley Executive Education is separated into two sections. The first covers a six-week online course, and the second is a five-day, in-person immersive experience. It covers topics like product optimization and product-line profitability. You will also discover how to improve your management capabilities.
While there are no requirements for this program, it’s recommended that you have some basic knowledge and work experience in product management. There is also the option to ask your employer for financial assistance through Berkeley’s system.
Digital Product Management Certification: Modern Fundamentals by Coursera
Cost: Free to enroll, fees may apply for a certificate
Duration: 11 hours
The Digital Product Management Certification is offered through Coursera and the University of Virginia. It aims to furnish you with the skills to effectively become a product manager. To do this, the program includes topics on product management methods and working models.
You’ll also learn how to focus on keeping products as competitive as they can in developing markets and how to identify their USPs for maximum impact.
Digital Product Management MicroMasters by edX
Duration: Eight months
In this Digital Product Management MicroMasters program, in partnership with Boston University, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the principles and processes involved in developing product roadmaps. The program, available via edX.org, also covers topics such as social media marketing, business analytics, and product management.
You have to complete five graduate-level courses to earn this certificate. There are no prerequisites to applying for the program. However, as it’s considered an advanced-level course, it’s recommended that you have knowledge and work experience in product management.
Product Strategy by Northwestern Kellogg School of Management
Duration: Two months
This Product Strategy program offers a comprehensive course that covers product strategy, business models, product development, and product evolution. This online program consists of eight modules and includes applied learning opportunities.
There are no prerequisites for this program. To earn the certificate from Kellogg Executive Education, you will need a passing grade of 80 percent.
Product Owner Certificate by PMHQ
Duration: Seven days
The Product Owner certificate course by Product Manager HQ is designed to help professionals who want to become product owners. The online course delivers the fundamentals of the product owner role, product lifecycle, and job interview process.
This program will help you build your skillset in product management and your product professional network. Although the course doesn’t have any prerequisites, it’s recommended for candidates to have basic knowledge of the product industry.
Should You Pursue a Product Management Certification?
Yes, you should pursue a product management certification. Professional certification is more than just evidence of your skills. It corroborates the industry-standard knowledge and experience you’ve accumulated to open doors for you to achieve more. Product management certifications complement and deepen your skills and experience.
The product management industry is ever-changing. By completing a professional certificate course, you’ll be able to get a certification in no time. This will ultimately help your career advancement by proving your expertise in the latest industry practices.