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Product management is a skill that continues to grow as marketing and customer retention techniques evolve with the digital world. A product management course can provide the skills you need to begin or advance your career as a product manager. We spent dozens of hours reviewing more than 20 product management courses to determine which offer the most comprehensive curricula and final outcomes for their costs. Ultimately, the Product School Product Management Certification course outshone the others as the best for most prospective product managers. Its curriculum hits every facet of product management, taught by industry leaders who can leave a positive impact on your career, making it well worth its cost.
The Best Product Management Course for Most
A flexible pricing plan, comprehensive curriculum, and the course culmination of a Product Manager Certificate make the Product School Product Management Certification course the best option for most learners. Whether you’re looking to enter a career in product management or are already a seasoned professional, you’ll probably learn something new here.
The course lasts from one week up to two months, during which you’ll meet with an online instructor on your scheduled days and times. Instructors come from some of Silicon Valley’s top companies, including Google and Amazon, and are ready to help you succeed through interactive discussions and the study of real-world business situations.
The Best Product Management Course Options to Consider
- Product School Product Management Certification – Best for most product managers
- Become a Product Manager | Learn the Skills & Get the Job – Best for absolute beginners
- 280Group Product Management Certification – Best for industry recognition
- BrainStation Product Management Course Online – Best for industry networking opportunities
- Product Management Fundamentals – Best free product management course
- Northwestern University’s Product Strategy – Best for current product management professionals
When It Makes Sense to Invest Into Product Management Courses
Here are a few moments when it will make sense to invest in a product management course:
- When you’re starting a new career in product management (or seriously considering doing so)
- When product management responsibilities have been added to your job description and you need to get up to speed quickly
- When a product management certificate will help you get a promotion in the next year
It’s also worth noting that it may make sense to invest in free vs. paid courses at different times.
As someone who’s interested in an entry-level career in product management, you might be better off starting with a free course, which you can find on LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, and other online course platforms. Free courses can give you the basics you’ll need to know for beginner positions, like an associate product manager or product consultant.
Those looking to climb the ladder more or add onto the skills they already have as a product manager or similar role might consider investing in a product management course. Paid courses dive deep into everything from product ideation to marketing, allowing you to explore the full process and learn key takeaways that you can bring to your current role or promotion.
#1 – Product School Product Management Certification — The Best for Most Product Managers
The Product School Product Management Certification course is one that most people interested in product management can benefit from. Although it is a hefty investment at $4,199, it includes every ounce of information you’ll need to know to start or further your career as a product manager. Beginners can choose the Product Manager Certificate pathway to work toward an entry-level career, while professionals can pursue the Product Executive Certificate designed to foster advanced leaders.
Because you’ll learn from professionals in the business in some of today’s leading companies—Uber, Amazon, and PayPal, to name a few—you’ll get real insight into the modern business landscape. Not only do you get to interact with industry leaders during each instructional class, but you’ll also have opportunities for group discussions, mock interviews, case study reviews, and other collaborative tasks that allow you to dive head-first into a product manager role.
The classes are weekly on set days and times, which might sound like a con if you’re looking for something more adaptable. However, there are multiple sessions to choose from, including programs with two shorter classes each week and sessions with one longer class on Saturday.
You can complete most sessions within two months, but some are even shorter. For example, the one-week session is available Monday through Friday for nine hours each day, which is perfect if you’re looking to wrap up your program quickly and can take a week off work. This course is completely moldable to fit your needs.
If you’re unable to pay the full $4,199 cost upfront, Product School will work with you on that too. The company offers financed tuition for as little as $129 per month to pay off the program.
#2 – Become a Product Manager | Learn the Skills & Get the Job, by Udemy — The Best for Absolute Beginners
As a newbie in the product management world, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a course, no matter how much it can teach you. In fact, at this stage, you might even wonder if product management is the right career choice for you.
Become a Product Manager | Learn the Skills & Get the Job is a complete course that walks you through what product management is and what to expect from a career as a product manager. Although it covers a lot of information, the course sells for just $109.00 on Udemy, literally thousands of dollars less than other courses. And, you can sometimes catch it at discounted prices, like the 86% off price of $14.99 in the screenshot below.
This course features over 13 hours of videos, course materials, and activities, giving you plenty of time to get acquainted with product management and decide if it’s for you. Learn everything from the product life cycle to creating buyer personas to help you create products for the right people.
The full course is available forever once you buy it, so you can complete it at your own pace and refer back to information later. You’ll also get a certificate of completion after finishing the course, which could help you stand out at a future job interview.
#3 – 280Group Product Management Certification — The Best for Industry Recognition
Best for Industry Recognition
If you’re ready to stand out in the product management industry, 280Group’s certification course is the way to go. With four specialized tracks that all lead to a highly-regarded certificate, it will set you up to take your career to the next level.
Entering the workforce as a product manager requires an expert set of skills that not everyone has. That’s why businesses specifically look for prospective employees who know how to satisfy customers, market products, and create successful product launches. A certification that is widely recognized in the industry can help you climb the career ladder.
The 280Group Product Management Certification course is a joint effort by 280Group and The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). The goal of the course is to advance the skills and careers of product management professionals through a curriculum that’s designed to enhance problem-solving and strategizing skills.
The program culminates in an AIPMM certification, a highly respected credential for product managers. The course offers four learning and certification tracks: Certified Product Manager (CPM), Certified Digital Product Manager (CDPM), Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM), and Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner (ACPMPO). All course-takers complete an AIPMM-proctored certification exam online at the end of the program.
Courses in the program are available as live online sessions, self-paced online sessions, or in-person sessions to accommodate your learning and scheduling needs. Prices range from $1,495 to $2,995, depending on the certification track you’d like, but you can pay in installments of as little as $73 with Affirm.
#4 – BrainStation Product Management Course Online — The Best for Industry Networking Opportunities
Networking with other business professionals can help you get your foot in the door of your new career and give you invaluable support and advice. Few product management courses provide the many opportunities to network that BrainStation’s Product Management Course Online does.
Through the program, you’ll attend panel discussions and guest lectures from industry leaders. Recent guest lecturers include Michael Katchen, the co-founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, and Brittany Forsyth, the Chief Talent Officer of Shopify. There is a real opportunity to learn from successful people in business, all while completing the online program.
And that’s not the only perk for those looking to expand their professional network. The live courses offer plenty of room for interacting with classmates and working collaboratively on projects. Students can also participate in breakout rooms, splitting off from the main meeting room to work closely together on projects or have more intimate discussions on course topics.
The full price of BrainStorm’s course is $3,250, which includes four units focused on exploring product opportunities, minimum viable products (MVPs), agile methodologies, and marketing strategies. Students can also pay in installments for up to 12 months, with payments as low as $290/month.
BrainStorm has an employer sponsorship program, too, which about 50% of its students currently use, so it’s worthwhile to check if your employer might foot the bill.
#5 – Product Management Fundamentals — The Best Free Product Management Course
The EdX Product Management Fundamentals course comes from the University of Maryland and University System of Maryland, and it’s 100% free for all students. This might be one to try if you’d like to dip your toes in the water of product management before diving in completely.
The four-week program—led by a University of Maryland director of entrepreneurship—covers the typical responsibilities of a product manager, management strategies, marketing principles, and customer success. Expect to work through course materials and projects for 2-3 hours each week.
This program certainly isn’t the most comprehensive one on our list. But then again, that’s not really what it’s meant for. It’s more of an overview of the key principles of product management, offering a concise, but effective, introduction to the field.
Course participants can elect to pay $199 for a certificate of completion signed by the instructor to add to a resume or share on a website or LinkedIn profile.
#6 – Northwestern University’s Product Strategy — The Best for Current Product Management Professionals
Best for Current Product Mangers
When you already have experience, the last thing you need is a course designed for beginners. Northwestern University’s Product Strategy is the advanced course you’re looking for, designed for established product managers who want to take the next career step.
From Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management comes the Product Strategy course. For learners who prefer to study with an institution of higher learning, this course is one of the best. It’s delivered through Northwestern’s online system and taught by a business and marketing scholar and speaker.
This program is ideal for current professionals. It builds on what you already know, like customer management and product opportunity analysis, to offer more advanced strategies and principles. You’ll get the most out of this program if you want to scale your career and product strategy methods simultaneously. The curriculum includes case studies from some of today’s top companies, like Uber and Airbnb, to connect what you learn to real-life business practices you can carry over into your career.
When you finish the course with a grade of 80% or higher, Northwestern gives you a digital certificate to add to your resume or LinkedIn profile.
The two-month program costs $2,600—lower than similar programs from recognized universities—and flexible payment options are available in two- and three-month installment plans.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Product Management Courses
There’s a lot of overlap between many product management courses, making it challenging to differentiate between some of them. While generic variables, like pricing and content, are important to consider, it’s even more necessary to understand the primary differences of each course that could influence the way you learn and use what you’ve learned.
The following factors are those that we’ve used in our methodology to find the best product management courses for just about anyone, from beginners to professionals. Refer to this guide as you decide which product management course is your best option.
Online courses with flexible scheduling have gained tremendous popularity over the years, especially with courses designed for people who already have a career. This is the case with many who choose to take a product management course as they seek a more defined skill set and certification. A flexible schedule is a must for professionals who don’t want their coursework to disrupt their work schedule.
Many of today’s product management courses are designed to complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. You can log in to complete coursework when you have time, as long as you meet final deadlines. Flexibility may be beneficial for self-motivated learners with non-flexible work schedules.
Other courses are more restrictive with scheduling, requiring you to meet for in-person classes or at a specific meeting time for online instruction. If you learn better from real-time, interactive learning and have a forgiving work schedule, this approach might be better for you.
Not all product management courses result in a certification that you can use to prove your credentials and skills. Certification may not be necessary to you if you’re already in a product management position and are looking to optimize your skills. But if you’re seeking employment in the field or angling for a promotion, getting a certification can certainly assist you in your search.
The downside of certification? Courses with certification pathways are usually pricier than their non-certificate counterparts. And not all certifications are created equal. If getting certified is a must for you, make sure the certification a course offers you is one that’s recognized in the industry, such as AIPMM certification.
Online vs. In-Person Classes
Not all learners benefit from the same learning style, which is why you’ll find product management courses that are delivered either online or through face-to-face instruction.
Online instruction can be either live or self-paced. Live classes offer more interactive instruction, allowing you to ask questions from your instructor over video. Self-paced courses are ones you’ll complete on your own, usually through a mix of videos, reading materials, and assignments. Online courses can be more convenient for people who aren’t within a close driving distance to a school or would like to work on coursework in their spare time.
In-person classes are the best option for people who prefer the social and networking aspects of learning. You can meet classmates and instructors and participate in group work in person. However, in-person classes have scheduled meeting days and times, which could be challenging for working professionals to adhere to.
While some courses simply have you watching a series of informational videos, others provide reading materials, opportunities for interactive discussion, case study reviews, and other resources that help you really dig into the curriculum. Consider your learning style to decide what kinds of instructional methods are best for you.
For some, the simpler video instruction courses won’t cut it. Instead, you might need a curriculum that pulls in different materials and social opportunities to get more hands-on with your learning. Before signing up for a course, check out its curriculum and look for a FAQ section, both of which might provide details about the program’s instructional methods.
Product management courses are an investment to consider wisely. We believe the Product School Product Management Certification course, while one of the priciest on our list, is the best option for most. Its curriculum touches on everything a beginner to a current professional needs to know, laced with collaborative instruction opportunities to get tangible experience.
If industry-recognized certification is a must for you, consider the 280Group Product Management Certification course, which culminates with an AIPMM certification in one of four product management tracks. Or, if you’re still deciding if product management is right for you, try Product Management Fundamentals, a 100% free course that goes over all the basics you’ll need to know to make an informed decision.
Although all of the courses in our ranking are excellent options, they won’t all be the right option for everyone. Use the methodology above to pinpoint the best program for you based on your learning needs, schedule, and desired outcome.