6 Best Product Manager Courses in 2021 – For All Proficiency Levels

6 Best Product Manager Courses in 2021 - For All Proficiency Levels

Product manager courses are everywhere. How do you pick the one that’s best for you?

Product management is one of the most diverse disciplines and requires an extremely broad set of skills. Additionally, the product manager role drastically changes with your seniority.

Therefore, we’ve put together a list of 6 product manager courses you should consider taking in 2021 for the following proficiency levels:

  • Aspiring product manager
  • Beginner product manager
  • Mid-career product manager
  • Advanced/pro product manager

Table of Contents

TL;DR

  • Product management guides the development of a product at the intersection of technology, UX, and business.
  • A good product manager course should teach you many skills including technical skills, project management skills, and communication skills.
  • A product manager course for aspiring product managers should teach you the core skills of a product manager and give you hands-on experience s you can get hired.
  • Path2Product is a community of over 500 aspiring and expert product managers and gives you access to a free and paid course in product management.
  • A product manager course for beginner product managers should teach you how to write product requirements, work with development teams, and communicate as a product manager.
  • Great Product Manager is a product manager course for beginner product managers taught by Dr. Bart Jaworski, a senior product manager at Microsoft.
  • Online Product Management by General Assembly is a product manager course for beginner product managers that includes a final project at the end, that you can proudly add to your portfolio.
  • A product manager course for mid-career product managers should teach you things like ruthless feature prioritization and how to define and track product goals.
  • Product Management Training by Mind the Product is a self-paced course for mid-career product managers based on insights from the largest product community in the world.
  • Product Management Certification by Product School is a cohort-based course that gives you a certificate recognized by hiring managers globally.
  • A product manager course for advanced/pro product managers should teach you how to move from product execution to product strategy.
  • Product Strategy by Reforge is a product manager course for advanced/pro product managers and is taught by executives from companies like Facebook, Hubspot, and Uber.

What is product management?

Product management is the practice of strategically guiding the development, improvement, and support of a product through its lifecycle.

A product manager usually sits at the intersection of technology, UX, and business and is responsible for representing the voice of the customer.

Product management Venn diagram

Let’s take a look at what skills a product manager course should teach you.

What product management skills should a good product manager course teach you?

Here is a list of skills a good product manager course should teach you:

  • Writing clear product requirements using relevant terminology
  • Project management skills with respect to software development practices (e.g. Agile, Scrum)
  • Time management skills
  • Technical skills for product managers like SQL and HTML/CSS
  • Conducting customer research and using empathy to develop successful products
  • Managing stakeholders using negotiation skills
  • Using relevant tools as a product manager
  • Measuring a product’s progress with data

Now let’s take a look at the best product manager courses for aspiring product managers.

Best product manager courses for aspiring PMs in 2021

There’s no set path to becoming a product manager like there is for a doctor or an accountant. It’s a fairly new discipline that attracts individuals from all kinds of educational backgrounds like marketing, engineering, and economics. This makes breaking into the role hard.

The product manager role requires an extremely versatile skillset. This includes an understanding of technology, business and unit economics, UX design, customer psychology, and much more.

A big challenge of being a product manager is that you must lead a team of engineers and designers and influence a broad range of stakeholders. Without any one of these people directly reporting to you. This requires a special type of leadership and strong communication skills, most of which can only be effectively learned on the job through experience.

Even if you have all these skills, employers still look to hire individuals with direct experience in product management. This chicken-and-egg problem is what trips most aspiring product managers up.

Fret no more, young padawan. I’ve got the answer for you: product management courses that teach you all the core skills and give you the hands-on experience you need to get hired.

Let’s dig in.

Path2Product

Path2Product - product management courses

Course description:

Path2Product is much more than a set of courses you can sign up for. It’s a community with over 500 aspiring product managers and experienced product managers.

There are two courses available:

  • Product Strategy Development (free)
  • Product Management Course (paid)

There’s also a live 10-week Bootcamp program that will be available starting late July 2021!

The community is a social platform where you can create your profile and view relevant content in your feed. John and the community post interesting discussions regularly, giving you the chance to easily create meaningful connections with others. There’s also a mobile app! Super convenient for getting your dose of product management on the go.

Author:

Image of John Fontenot, founder of the product manager course Path2Product
John Fontenot

John Fontenot created Path2Product to help aspiring product managers get the practical and real-world experience they need to land a job as a product manager. Having struggled to forge his own path to product manager, he was determined to create a more streamlined path for other aspiring product managers to follow.

John is currently a practicing product manager and uses his daily experience to continuously pack more value into Path2Product.

PM skills you’ll learn:

  • Conducting effective product interviews
  • Doing user research
  • Crafting a product strategy
  • Prioritizing product features
  • Enabling product-led growth
  • Getting feedback for your product
  • Writing a product manager resume

Mode:

Online.

Course duration:

The free Product Strategy Development course is just over an hour while the paid Product Management Course is self-paced.

Price:

The free Product Strategy Development course is free while the Product Management Course is $4.99 per month.

The 10-week Bootcamp coming out in July 2021 will be priced at $399.

Next up is a list of product manager courses for beginner product managers.

Best product manager courses for beginner PMs in 2021

Product manager courses for beginner product managers are designed for entry-level product managers with less than two years of experience in product management.

Skills to learn:

  • Core traits of successful product managers
  • User research
  • Time management as a product manager
  • Working with development teams
  • Writing product and feature requirements
  • Communicating as a product manager

Here are some product manager courses for beginner product managers.

Great Product Manager – Practical Product Management course

Great Product Manager - Practical Product Management course

Course description:

Learn how to accelerate your early career as a product manager by learning from a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft. There’s also a free resume review included with the course!

This comprehensive course will teach you the skills needed to become a great product manager and how to overcome common setbacks based on the author’s own experience. It’s composed of a series of bite-sized videos across 11 chapters.

Here are the best parts of the course:

  • Chapter 3: classes 1, 6, 8 – develop core character traits of a great product manager
  • Chapter 4: class 4 – learn how to do SWOT analysis to understand the current state of your product and where to take it
  • Chapter 5: classes 5, 7 – time management and organization for a product manager
  • Chapter 6: learn how to effectively communicate as a product manager, the most important skill for a product manager
  • Chapter 7: class 7 – understand the importance that value plays in a product manager’s job
  • Chapter 8: classes 3, 4 8 – solve common issues faced when working with development teams
  • Chapter 10: class 5 – learn how to use data to assess your product’s impact
  • Chapter 11: learn how to get promoted within your company or hone your skills at a new company

More and more material is being added to this course over time, making it a great investment. There’s even a Discord server where you can connect with the author directly and get answers to your most pressing questions.

Author:

Dr. Bart Jaworski

Dr. Bart Jaworski is a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft. He dreamed about becoming a successful product manager for years. There were many unexpected challenges as a product manager and he often had to find resources himself. It wasn’t easy.

Once he reached his dream of becoming a successful product manager, he felt compelled to share his insights with others and created this course.

PM Skills you’ll learn:

  • The core traits of a great product manager
  • Time management as a product manager
  • Effective communication as a product manager
  • Working with development teams
  • Creating high-value products
  • Using data to improve a product
  • Getting promoted as a product manager

Mode:

Online.

Course duration:

11 hours.

Price:

$85 with occasional discounts on Udemy.

Let’s take a look at the next product manager course for beginner product managers.

Online Product Management Course by General Assembly

Online Product Management Course from General Assembly - product management courses

Course description:

The Online Product Management Course is perfect for both beginners and individuals who’ve taken on some product management responsibilities in their current roles. It teaches you how to be a real product manager and draws from best practices curated by General Assembly’s product management advisory board.

The course specializes in preparing you for exactly what current employers look for in a product manager. In 2020, the course was updated to include more material on the Agile methodology, working with data, and managing stakeholders.

As part of the course, you’ll complete several small real-world projects while being guided along the product management process.

There’s also a final project at the end in which you’ll develop a product or feature of your choice. It’ll cover all important aspects of product management including market research, prototyping, and implementing product analytics.

The best part? You can add your final project to your professional portfolio to impress employers!

Sample project from General Assembly product manager course
Sample project from the General Assembly course

Finally, you’ll get a certification upon completing the course that you can use to showcase your new skills and hands-on experience in product management to employers.

Author:

General Assembly logo

Online Product Management is developed by General Assembly, a professional training company with award-winning curriculums. It’s taught by product management professionals who have experience working at companies like Google, eBay, and Zendrive.

PM Skills you’ll learn:

  • Planning and prioritizing product scope as a product management
  • Validating your assumptions
  • Analyzing and monitoring product metrics
  • Agile software development methodology
  • Managing stakeholders
  • Product management tools
  • Thinking about product/market fit
  • Writing product and feature documentation

Mode:

The course runs on set dates either online or in-person at a General Assembly campus.

Course duration:

The course is roughly two months long and covers 40 hours of material with additional time required for coursework and final project. It includes two sessions of two hours per week.

Price:

$3,950 with an option for employer sponsorship, installment plans, or a loan from General Assembly’s high-quality lenders.

Now let’s take a look at a list of product manager courses for mid-career product managers.

Best product manager courses for mid-career PMs in 2021

These courses are designed for mid-level product managers with three to five years of experience in product management.

Skills to learn:

  • Ruthless product and feature prioritization
  • Defining product goals and measuring progress
  • Conducting user research and user interviews
  • Aligning goals within an organization
  • Managing stakeholders

Product Management Training by Mind the Product

Product Management Training from Mind the Product - product management courses

Course description:

The Product Management Training course is an online, self-paced library of training materials that will help you become a more effective product leader, find better solutions to problems and build great products. It’s a great way to level up your skills as a mid-level product manager.

The course material is based on premium content put together by product people and is split up into six modules:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Hypothesis and testing
  3. Goals alignment
  4. Assessing your product skills
  5. User interviews
  6. Stakeholder management

There’s a seventh module called “Jobs to be Done (JTBD)” that’ll be available in June 2021.

The course is composed of video tutorials, interactive activities (worksheets, quizzes, and self-reflection exercises), and plenty of opportunities for peer-to-peer discussion.

If you have a Mind the Product paid membership, you can get access to their Product Management Training course and their community for free.

Author:

Mind the Product logo

The Product Management Training course is created by Mind the Product, the largest community of product people in the world. Mind the Product has access to top insights about product management from its 200 local meetups, annual Mind the Product conferences, and a massive Slack community.

These are the instructors of the course:

  • Martin Eriksson – Co-Founder of Mind the Product, product veteran of 25 years, and Co-Author of the book Product Leadership
  • Emily Tate – Chief of Staff at Mind the Product and product veteran of 15 years
  • Eli Montgomery – Head of UX at Cazoo with 15 years of experience in product management, UX, and design
  • Rosemary King – Head of Product at Float with 10 years of experience in product management

PM Skills you’ll learn:

  • Variety of prioritization methods
  • Forming hypotheses and breaking them down for testing
  • Defining measurable goals and facilitating alignment workshops
  • Conducting unbiased user interviews
  • Proactively managing stakeholders

Mode:

Online.

Course duration:

Self-paced.

Price:

Only available with a Mind the Product membership (starting at $250 per year.)

The following is another product manager course for mid-career product managers.

Product Management Certification by Product School

Product Management Certification from Product School - product management courses

Course description:

The Product Management Certification by Product School is a cohort-based class with an average class size of just 17 students. It’s hands-on right from the start and you get to connect with your instructor online each week in real-time. And no matter what timezone you’re in, there’s a cohort optimized for where you are.

Upon successfully completing the course, you’ll receive a Certificate from Product School that’s widely recognized by hiring managers.

Author:

Product School logo

This course is created by Product School, the global leader for training in product management and a community of more than a million product professionals.

All instructors are product leaders from top tech firms like Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Paypal, and Uber.

PM Skills you’ll learn:

  • Assess product opportunities and target customers
  • End-to-end product development
  • Leading cross-functional teams as a product manager
  • Launching products in the market
  • Writing an effective product manager resume

Mode:

Online, cohort-based.

Course duration:

Either 2 months part-time on weeknights or weekends or an intensive 5-day full-time course.

Price:

$4,199 with an option for flexible installment plans starting at $129 per month.

Finally, here’s a list of product manager courses for advanced/pro product managers.

Best product manager courses for advanced/pro PMs in 2021

These courses are designed for pro-level product managers with five or more years of experience in product management.

Skills to learn:

  • Transitioning from product execution to product strategy
  • Measuring and maintaining product/market fit
  • Crafting a long-term product strategy
  • Executing a long-term product strategy
  • Growing and scaling a product

Product Strategy by Reforge

Product Strategy course from Reforge - product management courses

Course description:

The Product Strategy course by Reforge is aimed at product managers who are transitioning from execution to product strategy. The material for this course is created by top product executives with years of experience in product strategy.

Don’t let its relatively short timeframe of six weeks fool you—this is an intensive course for serious and senior product professionals.

Each week consists of two to three hours of self-paced material paired with two-hour live sessions covering real-life scenarios. An additional two hours each week is expected to be spent on using what you’ve learned to craft an action plan at your company.

There’s also ample opportunity throughout the course to connect with other peers in the cohort.

Here’s a breakdown of the material covered each week:

  • Week 1: Feature strategy – Evaluate existing features and create a plan for new features to reach product/market fit.
  • Week 2: Growth strategy – Build a model for acquisition and habit loops and learn how to improve it.
  • Week 3: Product-market fit expansion strategy – Learn about product saturation and how to make the most of product/market fit.
  • Week 4: Scaling strategy + build your product strategy – Learn to evaluate different types of scaling work and bring all prior product work covered together into a product strategy.
  • Week 5: Putting your product strategy into action (part 1) – Look at your product strategy from under the hood and discuss with peers and experts.
  • Week 6: Putting your product strategy into action (part 2) – Continuation from part 1.

Author:

Reforge logo

Reforge is a membership for product leaders that gives you access to cohort-based programs, content, and a community for scaling a company. It was founded by Brian Balfour, previous VP of Growth at Hubspot. The main focus at Reforge is product/market fit and growth.

The instructors at Reforge are top executives from companies like Tinder, Facebook, HubSpot, and Uber.

PM Skills you’ll learn:

  • Designing features for product/market fit
  • Building an acquisition model
  • Maximizing product/market fit for a product
  • Crafting a product strategy
  • Scaling a product strategy

Mode:

Online, cohort-based.

Course duration:

6 weeks (intensive.)

Price:

You need to be a Reforge member to access the Product Strategy course. Annual membership for Reforge is $1,995 for individuals or $1,795 per person for teams of 3 or more.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to break into product management, level up your skills as a product manager, or transition into product leadership, there’s a product manager course that can help you get there. Furthermore, many of these courses can be completed on top of your full-time job.

The key is understanding exactly what you’re hoping to get out of a course like just learning extra skills or joining a community of product people. Although joining a community lets you supercharge your learning and create lasting connections with both experts and peers.

Want to build product experiences code-free? Book a demo call with our team at Userpilot to get started!

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