Professional Certificate in Product Management

Advance your career in product management

Demand for product managers who can align all the stakeholders involved in launching or enhancing a product — while also providing a strategic vision — is high. This program is designed to prepare professionals to build and manage a product roadmap through user research, prototyping and product analysis. Learn the skills that will deliver the most commercial impact for employers.

The Professional Certificate in Product Management provides a launchpad for advancing your career in product management. Participants will develop the essential strategic and tactical skills and capabilities needed for in-demand product management roles in this fast-growing field.

Online Programs
Professional Certificate in Product Management graphic

Products are the foundation of growth.

Who Should Attend

The Professional Certificate in Product Management is for those who want to build on or formalize their training for product management roles, including:

  • Early-career professionals with one to five years of experience as a product manager or in a product support role
  • Professionals making a lateral career move from an adjacent field such as engineering, UX/UI, marketing or sales

Participants come from a wide range of industries, including but not limited to:

  • Tech companies (software, hardware, electronics, networking, e-commerce)
  • Industrial products companies (consumer durables, medical equipment & devices, automotive, construction, agriculture)
  • Tech-intensive services firms (banking/fintech, law firms, IT services, consultancies)

Key Benefits

  • Master the end-to-end process of discovering, designing, developing, delivering and managing products
  • Learn the strategic thinking and tactical implementation skills needed to become a professional product manager
  • Gain certifications in product management tools and methodologies including project management, A/B testing (Optimizely), wireframing (Balsamiq), roadmapping (Trello), and analytics (Google Analytics)
  • Hone your communication, negotiation and influence skills to effectively manage people and relationships
  • Apply frameworks and tools to develop a start-to-finish product marketing plan for a product

Program Content

The program consists of 20 modules to make sure you are you are ready to advance your career in product management.

Module 1: Introduction to Product Management

Learn what a product manager (PM) does, and how the role varies across industries, company size and format (B2B and B2C). Learn what you need to succeed in this role and what makes an outstanding product manager. Additionally, understand why products matter; the product vision, mission and strategy; problems versus products; and managing products as a business.


Module 2: Customer Insights for Product Innovation

Learn about the nature, sources, and tools of customer insights (e.g. ethnography, customer experience mapping, customer advisory boards, product telemetry, human factors research, etc.); and move from insights to action.


Module 3: Analyzing Product Opportunities

Learn how to define and find product opportunities, Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) Framework and assessing opportunities using the Real/Win/Worth Framework.


Module 4: Product Discovery and Requirements Definition

Learn about creating the Discovery Hypothesis, Product/Market Fit, MVP Framework; user stories, epics and themes; and address the Agile requirements document.


Module 5: Business Model Design

Learn the definition and importance of business models, business model taxonomy — Freemium, SaaS and marketplace models and equip yourself to choose the right business model for your product.


Module 6: Financial Analysis for Product Managers

Understand the economics of a SaaS business (CLV, CAC, MRR, MRR Expansion, Churn), NPV (Net Present Value), IRR (Internal Rate of Return) analysis, Product Profitability Analysis and Product Pricing.


Module 7: UI/UX Design for Product Managers

Learn the fundamentals of UX design, conceptual design, interaction design, virtual design, and the design sprint.


Module 8: Agile Product Development

Explore the principles of Agile development, Agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, etc.), principles of Scrum/Agile team structures, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe 5.0) and transitioning to Agile.


Module 9: Product Planning and Roadmapping

Link business strategy to product development, product roadmaps and types of roadmaps, roadmapping tools, and product portfolio management.


Module 10: Product Prototyping

Discover the importance of prototyping, rapid prototyping, types of prototypes (Alpha, Beta, Pilot), types of prototype artifacts, wireframing, 3D printing and best practices in prototyping.


Module 11: Taking Products to Market

Get an overview of the product launch and Go-to-Market Strategy (GTM), Elements of GTM Strategy, product positioning and messaging and product launch planning.


Module 12: Business Communication for Product Managers

Receive an overview of internal and external communication, discover the fundamentals of storytelling, learn to give effective product presentations and demos. Additionally, identify the hidden benefits of impactful written communications, running efficient meetings and dealing with difficult situations.


Module 13: Managing the Partner Ecosystem

Address the definition and creation of the "whole offer"— the Make, Buy, or Ally decisions. Manage strategic partnerships and strategies for ecosystem development and growth.


Module 14: Managing Product Evolution and Growth

Discover how a company might grow product sales through customer development, market development and demand expansion. Learn how to manage product line extensions, product line pruning and product sunsetting.


Module 15: Growth Hacking

Learn how to develop the growth hacker mindset, skills, strategies, process and best practices.


Module 16: AI and ML for Product Managers

Learn the definitions and fundamentals of analytics and AI/ML along with AI/ML platforms, tools and types of analytics — descriptive, predictive and prescriptive.


Module 17: Overview of Data Analytics Tools for Product Managers

Gain a basic understanding of Python and how it’s being used across industries and job functions. Understand how Python can be used to read, filter, combine and aggregate data in order to communicate efficiently with your data science team. Additionally, this module will cover an overview of popular platforms and tool providers, such as RStudio and KNIME.


Module 18: Managing Stakeholder Relationships

Learn how to manage different relationships as a product manager. Specifically, address the relationship between the product manager and the engineering team, outbound relationships (sales organizations and customers), and finally, executive leadership.


Module 19: Product Management for Services Companies

Learn about the scalability of products versus services. Discover the development process for services as well as B2B vs. B2C business models.


Module 20: Capstone Project

In this final module, you will complete and submit the capstone project: creating a product management plan for developing a product and taking it to market.


Faculty

Mohanbir Sawhney - Academic Director; McCormick Foundation Chair of Technology; Clinical Professor of Marketing; Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation

Steven Benario - Senior Product Manager, Expanse; Digital Product Educator; former Product Coach, Electronic Arts

Tami Reiss - Founder, Just Not Sorry; Digital Product Educator; former SVP of Product Strategy, ProduxLabs

Tamara Sanderson - Design Lead, IDEO; former Director of Product Strategy, Automatic; Google (various roles)

FAQ

What is the program about?

The Professional Certificate in Product Management program harnesses the best practices, frameworks, and hard and soft skills to be a successful product manager, whether participants are already working in this field or switching from an adjacent field. In this program, participants will master the end-to-end strategic and tactical skills needed to become a professional product manager, develop a broad overview of the product management landscape, and gain certifications in product management tools and methodologies to equip them for success in this fast-growing field.


What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of tools and frameworks delivered via video lectures, real-world examples, case study scenarios, and downloadable content. You will put your learning into action through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards and faculty engagement. The program culminates with a capstone project, bringing together all of the key concepts from the program.

In addition, participants will earn certifications in product management tools and methodologies including project management, A/B testing (Optimizely), wireframing (Balsamiq), roadmapping (Trello), and analytics (Google Analytics). (NOTE: A small additional fee may be required for some of these certifications. Detailed instructions will be provided while you are in the program.)


What is the program format?

The program consists of 20 modules delivered over five months online. Learners can expect to dedicate 15-20 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Each module is opened weekly, allowing a flexible but structured approach to learning, with quizzes/assessments delivered at the module’s conclusion. Learners may choose to engage with the program module all in one sitting or in smaller segments of time throughout the week.


Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a topic module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.


What methods will be used for grading and evaluations?

Kellogg program leaders will review assignments, discussions and exercises to determine participants’ understanding of the material.


How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program timeframe. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.


Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and participants who meet the requirements receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.


Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Office hours will be held during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.


What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the Professional Certificate in Product Management program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (though not required, we recommend using Google Chrome when accessing the Online Campus for optimal experience)
  • Microsoft Office Suite (PowerPoint, Word, Excel) and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program
  • PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery.

Do the programs offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)


Will completion of this program guarantee me a job or promotion in product management?

No. The primary objective of this program is to give you the skills needed to be prepared for a job or to advance your career in this field. Our program support team includes product management mentors and program leaders to help you reach your goals. New employment and advancement opportunities depend on a variety of factors, including prior experience, education and the job market; we therefore do not guarantee a job placement upon completion of this program.


Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.


Additional questions?

Please contact us by calling 847-467-6018 or email us at execedonline@kellogg.northwestern.edu.


Upcoming Sessions

October 20, 2021 - April 6, 2022

Start: October 27 at 12:00 AM

End: April 6 at 12:00 AM


Accepting registrations through October 26

$6,500

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208
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847.467.6018