Are online PM certifications worth it?

I am promoted to a PM now from an Analyst at a small company and have my own startup as a side job. But due to me not having any university (just high school diploma) I have trouble finding different job outside my country. Therefore I started looking at the PM certifications to boost my resume.

I found 3 courses.

University of Maryland - Product management Product Management Professional Certificate

UC Berkeley - Product Management Product Management Course Online | UC Berkeley ExecEd

Kellogg School of Management - Product Strategy Product Strategy Online Course at Kellogg | Online Certificate Program for Product Management

Berkeley and Kellogg are very expensive, so I want to know if its worth it and if I can add them to my resume afterwards.

I already finished Udemy become product manager course 2 years ago but I do not have it on my resume.

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As a Product executive who recently finished a round of hires, here’s my advice:

  1. Do not bother with any form of PM “cert” you will gain no real world knowledge, sure you will be aware of different prioritisation frameworks but will not have a clue as to when and how to properly apply them.
  2. Having a side business puts you a cut above the rest, research different PM frameworks and techniques that will help you solve the problems you are interested in solving pertaining to your side business and outline these on your CV by breaking these down into clear problem statements, how you validated / resolved the problem and a summary of the results you experienced (good and bad). If presented with your CV that contained that information vs someone with any PM cert, I’d be calling you!

Good luck and feel free to reach out if there’s anything you think I could help with.

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A very warm welcome to the Community @RichordsonEva. Thank you for your insight over the query posted by @CathrynCui. I have a similar query.
I am an experienced employee at present at a big company and am on a lookout for an opportunity with a smaller firm. Do you think putting a side project prominently on my resume helps? I haven’t had any luck with job search so far and one feedback I have got is not to give too much space to a website I run on the side.

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Thank you for the warm welcome @AngelaBlue. It depends on what information your presenting and how you are presenting it. Feel free to PM me and I’ll have a look for you.

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Welcome to the community @Eva.
@CathrynCui, Hell no for online PM certifications. For some reason being a PM is the “hot job” of the day. These are just cash grabs for people who don’t actually know how to break into being a PM. At the end you’ll be poorer and no closer to it.

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Welcome to the community and Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience @RichardsonEva, it’ll definitely help me deciding my further course. I will surely get back to you with more questions. :slight_smile: Thank you @JesusRojas for your advice, really makes me re-think of online courses.

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Hello everyone, am new to this community too. I’ve been a PM for about a year now. I came across this wonder resource Lenny’s guide which is free and probably will help you more than all those courses put together. It has been of great help to me and hope the same for you. Please go through it.

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Welcome to the community @RichardsonEva & @MartyRoss.

@JesusRojas, Why not Agile certificates?

We follow agile methodologies and I know a fair bit from my day to day experience and YouTube but I was considering getting one to get to know it better.

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@Juan, Because those are more scrum related and scrum is a development/delivery framework and not necessarily something a PM has to deal with in their day to day life.

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I evaluated this for sometime. My two cents, No! If you really want to learn try design thinking or even better work as a volunteer for some non-profit in product capacity. Nothing speaks louder than experience. imo

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Hello @Cathryn. Put the one you’ve already finished on your resume! Well, only if it’s offered by a good university. I’ve been in the Product Owner role at this startup for more than a year and believe me, my real world experience has helped me more than the courses I’ve completed. Getting into the courses definitely builds a base and prepares you for the real world, where you come across a lot of terminologies and procedures which might make you feel lost if you haven’t attended any courses. So imo, you don’t lose anything by attending the course and it is also true that you might do very well if you have a sharp mind and are a fast learner, you need not bother spending for the online courses.

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Very interesting thread and I’m enjoying every bit of it. One thing that suddenly struck my mind is while we are discussing about online courses for getting into a PM role, on this wonderful platform, why are we looking for resources anywhere else when @Himanshu has incorporated so many wonderful easy to learn courses and resources on this very portal which is readily available and at your disposal here. Please check it out.

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Hello @Cathryn, Objectively speaking, only you can answer that.

One thing to consider is that certifications are great in theory, but never in practice. In the real world you need to account for… well, the real world, and certifications tend to be rigid and rarely take into consideration how you might have to make allowances for flexibility.

That said, I believe education is really important, and there’s never a loss in learning new things. If you have the budget to invest, go for it. If you do not, don’t put yourself in a position to acquire more debt than you can handle. The certification itself won’t all of a sudden open doors for you. If you’re keen to learn new things, there are various other ways of doing so that aren’t via a cert (for example, Mind the Product has fantastic courses that are a lot more affordable). On a serious note, do consider going through the courses here on Prowess as mentioned above by @Eva.