September 17, 2023

Back to School Special: Education Programs that Advance Your Career

Since it’s September, this post is about going back to school; regardless of your experience or education, there is always more to learn. In this article, we have outlined a number of different product marketing and management educational options, ranging from podcasts and newsletters to advanced degrees.

However, before proceeding we suggest asking yourself: “What am I looking for?” This list is long (and there are even more resources available via links at the end) – but each offering brings something different. If you are looking to level-up on specific topics for example, consider one of the subject-specific certifications. If you are just starting out and want to know what the field is all about, perhaps one of the self-serve resources is best for you. And if you are a veteran looking to take your current advanced knowledge even further, consider an accredited or advanced degree program to further refine your extensive knowledge.

Wherever you are in your product management or marketing journey, we hope you will find an opportunity in the compendium below. Enjoy!

Ad-hoc, self-serve resources

Mind The Product

Who It’s For: Product managers
What it offers:

  • For Free: Access to guest-authored blogs and videos about product.
  • Paid membership: Access much more content, including articles, forums, videos, a newsletter and “Ask Me Anything” events with product experts.

Exit 5

Who It’s For: B2B marketers
What it offers:

  • An online community where members can get tactical advice, give and receive feedback, and exchange ideas about what’s working in marketing today, plus a job board (monthly subscription). Exit 5 claims 3,500 active members.
  • A podcast where Exit 5 principal Dave Gerhardt interviews top CMOs and marketing leaders to help listeners be better marketers and advance their careers (free with Spotify and Apple Podcasts).

Lenny’s Podcast and Lenny’s Newsletter

(mentioned in the BPMA holiday gift guide)

Who It’s For: Product managers
What It Offers:

  • For Free: A regular podcast featuring Lenny’s interviews with established product leaders from many different fields and a once-a-month newsletter (Spotify, Apple and other services).
  • Paid Membership: Access to more frequent newsletters, a private Slack community, and curated lists of Lenny’s favorite publications ($15/mo).

The Next CMO Podcast

Who It’s For: Marketers
What it offers:

  • Hosted by Peter Mahoney, GoTo CMO, where he interviews thought leaders and discusses marketing strategy, planning, demand generation, case studies, analytics, digital marketing techniques, and innovative marketing strategies (free).

Non-Accredited Programs (certification, not certificates)

Pragmatic Institute

Who It’s For: Product managers, marketers, designers

What it offers:

  • Product Marketing Certification - offered online (on-demand and live) or in-person, the certification is composed of four courses in fundamentals, go-to-market, launch, and pricing. Each course requires 4-8 hours to complete ($1,295 each).

Association of International Product Marketing & Management

Who it’s for: Product managers and marketers

What it offers:

  • A certified Product Manager or Marketer credential, administered by the highly credible 280 Group, either live or on-demand, and includes topics from preparing a business case to analyzing usage and analytics data.

Product Development and Management Association (PDMA)

Who it’s for: Product managers

What it offers:

  • PDMA certification: A comprehensive process with eligibility requirements and a 200-question exam. Certification must be renewed every three years with formal time investment. While quite rigorous to obtain, PDMA certification is an internationally recognized and respected credential.

Product Marketing Alliance

Who it’s for: Product marketers

What it offers:

  • Product Marketing Certified, Core - an online course, available live or on-demand, is composed of 11 modules covering pricing strategies, market research, OKRs and KPIs, personas, messaging and positioning, and go-to-market strategies. Product Marketing Alliance says there are 19 hours of instruction, plus an exam that leads to a certificate ($1,299).
  • 24 additional courses offer advanced certifications in leadership, masters skills, deep dives into fundamentals, and other topics. Product Marketing Alliance says it offers 700+ hours of content, plus templates and other tools (available with a $1,999 annual Pro+ subscription or a la carte).

Certificate Programs (from accredited colleges and universities)

Boston University

Who it’s for: Product managers

What it offers:

  • Product Management edX - an online, on-demand course introduces key frameworks for decision-making based on both economic and organizational considerations. BU says the course requires 7 weeks at 4 hours per week to complete and credits accrue towards a Micro Masters Degree in Digital Transformation Leadership ($395).
  • Digital Transformation Leadership MicroMasters Degree edX - an online, on-demand course provides knowledge and capabilities to lead organizational change and transformation, including strategies to drive and transform businesses in the digital economy. BU says the course requires 9 months and 4-7 hours per week and credits accrue towards an MS from the Questrom School of Business ($1,995).

Harvard University Product Management online course

Who it’s for: Product managers

What it offers:

  • A four-week, live online course teaches students how to assess customer pain points, design a compelling product vision, market products, leverage product analytics, and work effectively with cross functional stakeholders. It meets once per week for 3.5 hours and students receive a certificate of participation from the Harvard Division of Continuing Education ($2,600)

Suffolk University Marketing Strategy Certificate

Who it’s for: Marketers

What it offers:

  • An eight-week, self-paced online program teaches key foundational marketing strategies and tactics. It is composed of five-modules and includes live collaboration. It requires four hours per week. Students receive a certificate upon completion ($1,299).

UMass Boston Contemporary Marketing graduate certificate

Who it’s for: Marketers

What it offers:

  • The program teaches skills in areas such as market research, advertising, digital marketing, and branding. It is composed of four courses and an elective delivered online.

Advanced Degrees

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Who it’s for: Anyone in business!

What it offers:

  • An MBA is perhaps the most common advanced degree for product managers and marketers. Every major college and university in the Boston area offers this program, however each typically targets either the full time or part time (evening) student.

To find out about MBA programs in the area, we suggest using an online tool like Find MBA.

Carl Blume is principal consultant at Atlantic Marketing Advisors, a marketing consulting firm serving the B2B software industry, and has held marketing leadership positions at Oracle, HP and several Boston-based startups. He has been a BPMA member since 2018.

Adam Shulman is a Product Manager with extensive experience in software/hardware systems and a passion for music and audio technology. He currently leads the Installed Systems business at Bose Professional and has been a member of the BPMA since 2016.