Graduate Certificate Programs in Product Management

Nov 01, 2019

Product management can encompass a number of areas relevant to an organization's products, such as product development and improvement as well as marketing. Due to the broad nature of the certificate, certain programs may be more specifically focused on others. This article will provide an overview of the courses that are usually included in graduate certificate programs that focus on product management.

Common Courses Included in Product Management Graduate Certificate Programs

Students are required to take between 4 and 5 courses to complete a graduate certificate in product management, which equates to around 12-15 credits. On average programs are completed in 1 to 2 years and there are a number of common courses that students could expect to cover.

Product Development

Product development can be an essential part of managing products as this is where new products are created or existing products are improved. These courses are designed to introduce students to the inherent challenges that come with product development. Other topics students could cover include the selection of product ideas, planning strategically and identifying potential opportunities for development.

Marketing Technological Products

These are the types of courses that teach students what it takes to market products of a technological nature. Some of the topics that are covered in these courses are strategic selling, consumer behavior and strategies for product innovation. After completing these courses, students should be able to understand how to market technological products in an environment known for its constant change.

Engineering-Specific Finance

Product management in an engineering organization can call for specific financial considerations. These types of courses are designed to introduce students to important aspects of corporate finance. Upon completing these courses, students are expected to be able to analyze financial performance through the use of cash flow statements and balance sheets.

Regulatory Courses

These kinds of courses may focus on a particular type of product or products in general. In these courses, students will learn the regulations that govern certain products or industries and what must be done to maintain compliance. Some of the topics these courses cover include national and international regulatory environments, technology assessment and managing product development with regulations in mind.

Decision-Making Courses

Successful product management often calls for quick but informed decision-making. These are the types of courses that teach students how to make decisions as well as the information they will need to gather in order to make these decisions relevant. A few of the topics that these courses will cover include the preparation of business pitches and executive summaries as well as the decision analysis cycle.

General Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificate Programs Focused on Product Management

In order to be admitted to a graduate certificate program focused on product management, applicants will need an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. The minimum acceptable GPA is 2.75. Some programs require the applicant to have a degree specifically in engineering while other programs require prior academic knowledge of mathematical areas such as statistics. To apply, the prospective student only needs school transcripts.

There are a number of different graduate certificate programs for product management, which range from those focusing on specific aspects of product management, to those that take a more general approach. Students can gain admission to these programs with a bachelor's degree, preferably in an engineering or mathematical field.

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