Top 6 valuable certifications for aspiring product managers

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Great product managers are made, not born.

There are plenty of jobs out there where people can get by on talent and charisma alone. But a product management role isn’t one of them.

That’s because the skills, experience, and competencies required to manage and make a great product are numerous, diverse, and overlapping. Some might come naturally, but others require hands-on experience and still others, formal training. Every product management role also requires some degree of industry-specific knowledge.

If you’re looking for a way to leverage your experience and knowledge into a fulfilling product management career, some formal product management training could be the right next step. 

These six product management certifications go beyond the CPM, equipping you with the technical skills and competencies you need to become a successful product leader.

The role of certification in product management 

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Succeeding in product management takes a number of things: the right team, the right product management tools, and the right experience and industry knowledge, just to name a few.

Is it possible to perform well as a product manager without certification? Yes. Though, given the complexity of the discipline, this isn’t as likely or as common as it is in project management.

But product management certification does play an important role — or maybe a few important roles. For starters, certifications can complement your existing experience and education, filling in gaps or adding capabilities that haven’t been part of your professional story so far.

Maybe you have years of experience as a project manager: You know all the project management methodologies, but you’re ready for something more and are looking to step up to product management. Many of the skills correlate, but without specific experience or credentials, you may have a hard time proving your worth in a new, adjacent discipline.

On that latter point, certification can also nudge you forward in terms of career advancement. When you can show, not just tell, that you have a certain set of technical or product skills (or both), you’ll look that much better to the people doing the hiring. 

In other words, putting forth the effort to get certified doesn’t just fill out your skill set. It can open the door to higher-paying, higher-ranking jobs.

The 6 top product management certifications

If you’re considering pursuing a certification in product management, first you need to answer a crucial question:

Which one?

Unlike in project management, where the PMP certification is the 800-pound gorilla of certifications, product management credentialing is much more diversified, with different credentials for different specializations. There’s also a much wider range in terms of rigor (and thus the real value of the certification): Some are barely more than “certificates of completion,” while others are actual graduate-level college courses!

We’ve selected six of the top product management certification programs, which we’ll review for you below. Whether you’re just dipping your toes in the water, changing careers, or a seasoned professional, several certifications could be the next step for you.

1. Certified Product Marketing Manager 

The Certified Product Marketing Manager™ (or CPMM) is a credential offered by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), an industry authority also responsible for publishing and maintaining the Product Marketing and Management Body of Knowledge® (ProdBOK®).

According to the AIPMM, this credential:

“Indicate[s] a thorough understanding of the product marketing functions which are responsible for ensuring the success of the product in the marketplace.”

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • Strategic and tactical marketing functions (across the product life cycle)

  • Marketing plans and budgets

  • How to build marketing campaigns that drive results

  • Research, analysis, and evaluation of the marketplace

Certification process and requirements

The CPMM is earned by passing a certification exam, which is open to anyone. The AIPMM recommends that only product managers and product marketing managers with at least three years of experience or an MBA pursue this certification, and there are live and online product management courses to help you train and prepare.

Potential career benefits 

  • You’ll gain the tools to increase levels of product marketing success.

  • Some skills covered tend to be required of senior-level positions, setting you up to climb the ranks.

  • Holding this credential can unlock upward (or diagonal) career movement, such as moving from general product management (or general marketing) to marketing product management.


AIPMM partners with others (primarily 280 Group) for training and exam proctoring, and pricing varies. The Optimal Product Management self-study program costs around $1500, while in-person training starts at $3,795.

2. Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner

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Another certification offered by AIPMM, the Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner brings together the skills and knowledge needed for product management with the principles and language of Agile methodology. This is an advanced certification that typically builds upon a foundation (which could be a Certified Product Manager credential or on-the-job experience).

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • How to combine product management and Agile processes

  • Best practices for leading and succeeding in Agile

  • Advanced Agile concepts including Lean, XP, and Kanban

Certification process and requirements

As with the previous certification, AIPMM allows anyone to take the certification course but recommends it first for already-certified product managers, marketers with at least three years of experience, or MBA holders.

Potential career benefits 

  • You’ll gain the knowledge and flexibility to apply product management process knowledge in Agile contexts.

  • With this certification, you’ll expand the breadth of product types you can capably manage.

  • The certification could lead to higher-paying opportunities in the sectors that prefer Agile, including software and tech.


280 Group’s Agile Product Management self-study course is $1,495. Live online training starts at around $2700.

3. Certified Technical Product Manager

Offered by Product HQ, the Certified Technical Product Manager credential shows that you have what it takes to apply product management principles to complex technology products (such as software products and web applications). This course is broken into more than 140 lectures spanning 15+ hours and includes interviews with real-world technical project managers sharing their insights and experiences.

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • Behaviors and skills of successful technical product managers

  • Fundamentals of technical product management

  • Popular interview questions for technical product manager positions

  • Foundational training on web standards, front-end frameworks, back-end frameworks, mobile applications, and more

Certification process and requirements

This course has no prerequisites and is built with the non-technical product manager in mind. It’s a bit more introductory in nature than the previous two certifications, designed as a way to jumpstart product managers looking to make the leap to tech.

Participants should expect to spend around 30 hours on the coursework.

Potential career benefits 

  • This online course helps nontechnical professionals bridge the tech gap, readying them for technical PM positions in software and tech.

  • The focus on common interview approaches in TPM helps improve your interview acumen.

  • The included community resources can lead to networking and potential job opportunities.


This certification course costs $399.

4. Professional Scrum Master

Blog post image offers this certification program that helps established product managers understand and apply Scrum methods to their products and projects. Because it comes from the official home of Scrum, it’s a well-recognized certification. Those who hold this certification gain a consistent terminology and approach to the principles of Scrum, which can be attractive to many organizations.

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • Understanding and applying the Scrum framework

  • Developing people and teams (creating self-managing teams, facilitation, coaching)

  • Managing products with agility (forecasting and release planning, product value, backlog management)

Certification process and requirements

This is a knowledge-based credential, requiring a score of 85.0 or higher on the 60-minute Professional Scrum certification test. The test may be taken without any specific prerequisites, though training courses are recommended.

Potential career benefits 

  • Scrum capabilities on your resume could give you an edge over other applicants for some roles.

  • Creating a self-managing team can ease up your day-to-day responsibilities — and make you look great in the process.

  • In a world full of fake/bad Scrum, this certification shows you can do Scrum the right way.


The test itself costs $200 per attempt. Training courses are available starting at $1,195.

5. Software Product Management

This credential, taught by the University of Alberta (via Coursera), is an introductory credential targeting students and career changers, which puts it in a decidedly different category than the AIPMM and credentials we’ve discussed.

This certification is all about product management in software concepts, so it focuses a good deal on Agile development and practices.

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • Software product development

  • Agile practices

  • Software processes

  • How to apply Agile planning to software products

  • Understanding and working with client needs

Certification process and requirements

This is a flexible schedule course with a suggested load of 10 hours per week for two months. It is not entirely clear how assessment-based (or not) this certification is, but there is, at a minimum, a capstone and applied learning project similar to what you’d encounter in many university programs.

Potential career benefits 

  • Demonstrating mastery of Agile software product management practices without job experience could put beginners ahead of the competition for entry-level roles.

  • Certification can jumpstart a career path in software product management, potentially skipping the entry level entirely.

  • This course can fill in knowledge and technical gaps for career changers with some related experience.


Enrolling is free, but the course is not. They don’t disclose pricing on the course page, but the comment about financial aid availability suggests this might not be the most affordable option.

6. Digital Product Management

Boston University and edX offer a MicroMasters® program in digital product management. As the name suggests, this product management certification is more than most; it’s not a master’s degree, but it does approach that level of rigor.

This program includes five graduate-level courses spanning eight months. Those seeking an actual degree can combine five separate MicroMasters programs into a MicroMasters Program Certificate that can apply toward a master’s degree in digital technology (MSDT) at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

Key skills and knowledge areas covered

  • Product management with lean, Agile, and system design thinking

  • Platform strategy for business

  • Strategic social media marketing

  • Driving digital innovation through experimentation

  • Business analytics for data-driven decision-making

Certification process and requirements

This program lasts eight months and contains more coursework than the others we’ve reviewed. You’ll work through five graduate-level courses (one for each key skill and knowledge area above), and each course is graded. A passing score in each is 67%, though learners seeking admission to the MSDI graduate program likely need higher than passing scores.

Potential career benefits 

  • A graduate-level credential likely provides a greater resume boost than other less-rigorous certificates.

  • Increased confidence and understanding of how to communicate with and champion products to C-level managers can make you a more valuable asset.

  • This program's broader, more well-rounded nature gives you skills and knowledge others will not gain (such as strategic social media marketing).


This eight-month program costs $1,995.

Build better products with

Transitioning into the world of product management is an exciting move to make for many project managers and other mid-career professionals. Getting the right certification is an important place to start, but just as important is arming yourself with the right set of tools.

Building better products starts with using the right software for product management: keeping all the details of your product organized and visualized is key, especially as you find yourself managing the teams powering those products and not just the products themselves. is the only solution to manage all your client operations in one place. With fully customizable workflows, strong resource management capabilities, and advanced profitability reporting, helps you optimize your product team’s resources, plan your Sprints and product roadmaps, and much more.

Ready to step up to a better project management experience for all of your client work? Sign up for today and get started for free!

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