How to Earn a Product Management Certification
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- Product managers work in industries from information technology (IT) to healthcare.
- Product manager jobs are high-level positions for professionals with broad experience.
- Certification courses for product managers prepare professionals and improve skills.
- Annual salaries for product managers vary by industry, with IT jobs ranking at the top.
If you're a professional who wants to expand your career, a product management certification could be the answer. Product manager jobs require leadership, confidence, research skills, and the ability to delegate work. Professionals come from various backgrounds, including business, information technology, and healthcare.
Product manager and project manager roles share some similarities. Project managers handle communications, schedules, and budgets. Product managers do those things and are also responsible for developing a product's technical aspects.
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Product management certification helps you practice the job skills you need for these demanding roles and also proves your knowledge of the topic. Here's what you need to know.
What Are the Requirements for Product Management Certification?
Product management certification requires a mix of experience and education, including:
- A bachelor's degree
- Business-related product management experience
- Formal product management training and exam preparation
- Certification by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM)
Product manager credentials certified by the AIPMM Certifying Board help candidates stand out from the crowd. Although certification isn't always a prerequisite, most employers look for a four-year degree. To that end, many professionals start their careers with a bachelor's degree in business management. Others gain work experience while pursuing more education.
What Skills Will I Learn With Product Management Certification?
Certification courses cover topics such as competitive analysis, product specifications, and product modeling. Professionals learn how to develop product launch metrics and conduct A/B testing. They also become familiar with product life cycle development and methodologies in Agile and Scrum.
Is Product Management Certification Worth It?
Product management certification can be a worthwhile investment, considering the rising need for these roles across industries. Potential employers can determine a candidate's abilities from a certification from an accredited program. Plus, product manager skills take time to develop, as these professionals need a broad understanding of business, technology, and user experience.
Product managers must understand the marketplace and their customer base to employ usability testing and identify opportunities. They must also understand development processes and technical limitations. Pursuing a product management certificate also gives candidates time to build a portfolio and gain work experience.
What Jobs Can I Get With Product Management Certification?
Product Manager: Product managers supervise a product's production and are responsible for reaching product development and production goals. They lead a team and may train production workers. They may also manage expenses and develop sales strategies, training materials, and product sales plans.
Software Product Manager: Software product managers lead software product development. They communicate with an organization's implementation and support teams and also meet with prospective and current clients. Additionally, these professionals work with marketing teams and may help create business plans to commercialize the software.
Computer and Information Systems Managers: Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct an organization's information technology goals. They also implement computer and software systems to meet company goals. These IT product managers plan and direct the work of computer systems analysts, information security analysts, and software developers.
Construction Managers: Construction managers are project or product managers who plan, coordinate, and supervise construction projects. This job includes building residential, commercial, and industrial structures. They oversee construction projects from start to finish, preparing cost estimates and budgets. Additionally, they collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction professionals throughout all phases of the process.
Product Management Director: A product management director oversees a product's development from concept through completion. These professionals focus on quality control production efficiency and may oversee improvement processes and standards. Additionally, these professionals typically are senior-level executives with over ten years of experience and may hold additional certifications.
How Much Money Can I Make With Product Management Certification?
Product management jobs often pay well and offer many opportunities for career growth. According to Payscale, salaries for these careers can range anywhere from $60,000 to over $200,000 annually. A product manager's salary depends on experience, education, industry, and where you live.
For example, Payscale found product managers in San Francisco, California averaged 31% more than others across the country. Conversely, the lowest salaries were in Chicago, Illinois, where product managers made .04% less than the national average in April 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions About Product Management Certification
Are product management certifications worth it?
If you want to be a product manager, certifications are worth it for many reasons. First of all, they provide experience in working through the entire product lifecycle. Certification gives you an opportunity to better understand potential setbacks and learn to identify problems.
You'll also learn how to create market strategies that coincide with a product launch and develop an understanding of Scrum and Agile methodology. A product manager must understand product analytics, how to create and use wireframes and prototypes, and conduct A/B tests. Even if you do not perform the work, you need to understand how elements come together to produce the final result.
Do you need a degree to be a product manager?
Product management roles are vital to the success of almost all businesses. These high-level positions require education and years of experience. Product managers typically hold a bachelor's degree in business management or a related degree. Some have information technology degrees or marketing and communication degrees with a business background.
Additionally, product managers often go on to complete a master's degree in business administration or business management and leadership. These professionals study subjects including supply chain management, customer acquisition funnels, and other essential business functions in product development.
How much does a product manager certificate cost?
Costs range from about $400 to over $5,000 to get a product manager certificate. The cost typically depends on how much experience and education you have accumulated already. You'll need to pay for the course or bootcamp which prepares you for the exam, then pay for the exam separately.
The AIPMM offers various certifications, including a mid-level product manager credential that focuses on essential product management functions. AIPMM's on-demand course prepares learners for the AIPMM CPM certification exam, which is available online or in person. The exam fee costs $395 for members and $520 for non-members.
How do I get started in product management?
While you typically need a bachelor's degree, there's no one specific educational pathway to get started in product management. This constantly evolving field is an upper-level position for professionals with years of experience in their industry. To that end, industry experts can expand their careers by completing a product management certification.
You can get a product management certification through an online course or coding bootcamp. Colleges also offer product management certification preparation. Some programs come with built-in certification exams through the AIPMM. Additionally, companies often offer education reimbursement to help professionals build their product management skills.