A certification course in Product Management from an MBA college…or

Question (from many of product management aspirants): Should I spend 2 lakhs on a certification course in product management? However, I would want to change my job role from business development into product. Is this a good way?

Please don’t.

Here is why:

  1. A certification course on product management only gives you…well, a certificate. Not the real skills.
  2. Product managers are NEVER hired on the basis of any certification. No company ever does that. Never. Ever.
  3. Most B schools often teach theoretical skills. Companies have very little time and patience for such talent in today’s world (unless you want to start as a fresher).
  4. Treat product management certificate as an add-on, and not the core feature – this is the most important mental shift to start right.

You want to change your role to product management? Follow these steps

  • Learn the core skills (how do I become customer centric, how do I understand the buyer journey etc).
  • Start observing things around you.
  • Start questioning why certain things work and some don’t (i.e. stay curious).
  • Start writing. Writing brings clarity. Writing is the most important skill of a product manager.
  • Next, take a product (any of your fav one) and analyse that – understand the user experience, the product decisions for e.g. why did WhatsApp launch the basic group admin feature after so many years, why is Zerodha so minimal, why did hike shutdown, even after massive funding / userbase).

Do understand that product management is a skill and there is a HUGE demand for skilled (and curious) professionals.

Where you start from (as a fresher vs. an experienced professional) is up to your learnability. Learn the skills. Not just try to buy a certificate.

Bonus tip: You can learn the core skills (and more) of product management from the most insightful professionals on FWD app (search for FWD on Android/app store).

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