In 2019, LinkedIn published an article reporting that product management roles grew an incredible 32 percent from 2017 to 2019 in the US. This upward trend continues, and the product manager’s role is now considered essential in most organizational structures.
Today’s most successful companies are product-driven and customer-centric. This boils down to a deeper understanding of the target audience and the types of products and services that would best match their needs. Although this important undertaking falls on multiple teams within an organization, product managers play a key role in providing the best value for customers in a digital space.
A product manager sits at the center of customer needs, business strategy, and technology. They play an essential part in building an organization’s digital fluency, allowing it to evolve and transform its digital products to meet customer demands.
If you’re looking for a less intense yet highly comprehensive program that gives you in-demand product management skills, General Assembly’s part-time product management course may be right for you.
General Assembly now offers a 40-hour, part-time, online product management course that gives learners relevant and practical skills.Enroll in General Assembly’s product management course here.
General Assembly’s Online Product Management Course
- Program Length: 40 hours
- Schedule: 10 weeks, part-time or 1 week, accelerated
- Cost: $3,950
General Assembly’s online part-time product management course is an instructor-led course that teaches students how to lead products and teams through the entire product lifecycle, from research to launch, while staying customer-focused throughout the whole process.
The course curriculum mirrors the real-world practice of product management. Students learn how to create a product roadmap based on a product vision. They also gain a practical and industry-relevant skill set on product strategies and how to launch viable products that solve customers’ pain points. The course’s updated curriculum focuses on Agile best practices, stakeholder and team management, and how to work with data.
No prerequisites are required. Instead, students complete a three-hour onboarding task to prepare for the beginner-friendly course. During the course, students create projects and complete activities that are based on actual scenarios that apply to a variety of workplace environments, from a start-up to a major tech company.
The final project challenges learners to develop a product or a feature aligned to a company’s business goal and customer needs, including complete documentation and a stakeholder presentation. The end goal is to learn to create successful products.
The course’s world-class instructors are seasoned product experts and entrepreneurs who bring their real-world experience into the classroom. General Assembly’s Product Management Advisory Board curates the best industry practices to keep the curriculum innovative and relevant. After completing the course, graduates receive an industry-recognized General Assembly certificate.
General Assembly’s part-time product management course is meant for new and aspiring product managers, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in exploring a career that combines business, design, and tech. The course is also suitable for those not working in a product management role and non-PM professionals, such as project managers, UX designers, and engineers, who work closely with product teams.
To explore the fundamentals of product management, sign up for General Assembly’s Free Intro to Product Management class.
Aileen’s Story: From Ad Sales to Product Management
Product management wasn’t Aileen Jiang’s initial career goal. After completing her business degree at NYU with a minor in social entrepreneurship, she interned in Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. These internships sparked her interest in ads and helped her land a sales job at Google.
“I was on the Google Ad Sales Team working with small and medium businesses. Two years after starting that role, I took the General Assembly Data Analytics course. That helped me transition to my current team, where I worked on products, from a deployment standpoint to a market standpoint. Around the same time, I was thinking about transitioning more into working on the product itself. That was when I took the General Assembly product management course,” she said.
Her shifting interest to product management did not happen overnight. “When I was in sales, I was the person people would come to if they had questions about how something worked, or if a feature wasn’t working as expected. They would ask me, ‘What do you think is going on?’ I loved being the person that would troubleshoot and deep dive into how a product works.”
“That experience allowed me to realize that there was something more there. It wasn’t just something that I enjoyed as part of my job, it was something I wanted to expand upon. That’s what got me started.”
“I also took on a couple of side projects, outside of my core role. I picked projects that would test out whether I liked deep-diving into products. I learned that I did, and that’s what drove me to think about the transition and make the pivot. I credit General Assembly with helping me pivot and make the transition,” she said.
Aileen was quick to name three things that influenced her decision of taking the bootcamp’s product management course: the hands-on and practical training, the diverse learning community, and the quality of instructors.
Hands-on, Practical Training
“With the product management course, you pick a project to work on throughout the course, whether it’s a product you want to launch yourself or something you’re working on at work,” she said.
“As you’re going through the course material, you apply the skills learned to complete weekly assignments that build up to a final presentation where you pitch your product to your classmates and get feedback on it.”
Diverse Learning Community
“The second, I would say, would be the environment. All the students in the course were really engaged and wanted to be there. It created an environment where people asked questions and wanted to meet and learn from each other. Every student was there for a different reason,” Aileen continued.
“My class had an engineer who wanted to learn more about the business side of products, a UX designer who was interested in moving into product management, and a sales leader who wanted to be a strong partner to their product team. Everyone was coming to class with different perspectives. Everyone was finding ways they could apply the skills that they were learning in class to their day-to-day,” she enthused.
Because of the variety of real-life experiences that other learners brought to class, Aileen understood the course material better. Hearing how other people used product management gave her a broader view of the topics discussed.
Quality of Instructors
“I had taken some one-day workshops with General Assembly in the past. I liked the instructors and enjoyed the way that the content was thought about. That made me want to think about taking a longer course with General Assembly,” Aileen further explained.
Life After General Assembly’s Product Management Course
Today, Aileen is a Global Product Lead at Google, working on tools and products that support Google Ads sales teams. “A lot of what I learned, I realized I was already using day-to-day. But I didn’t know the ‘how’ and ‘why’. I learned so much about product frameworks, and how they all fit into the product development cycle. In terms of what I use the most day-to-day, I honestly [use] so much of it but I’ll hone in on the fundamentals. I probably use them the most.”
“The first few classes in the course are about forming hypotheses, defining the problem statement, and understanding who the target user is. That’s the very start of any product. I actually find these skills to be so useful because oftentimes, we’re working with products that are already in flight or are further along in the life cycle,” she said.
“When you’re in the nitty-gritty of ‘What features should I prioritize or what should we do next?’, it’s always important to come back to the beginning. What are we solving for? Defining the hypotheses, problem statement, and target user is something I didn’t have formalized learning around prior to taking the course.”
“It is an invaluable skill I come back to all the time in my job,” Aileen shared.
“Another skill that stands out to me is user research. We learned how to interview users and draw insights from interviews. In the course, we went and interviewed five people for the product or project we were working on. We wrote an interview script, completed user interviews, distilled our notes, and came up with a succinct read out to inform the next steps of the product development cycle.”
“That was invaluable. When I talk to users today, I use so many of those skills. What questions to ask, how to frame questions, all of that,” she continued.
Alieen’s General Assembly reviews is a great example of a General Assembly student who maximized her time at the bootcamp and put effort into gaining as much as she could from the course. She advises other students to do the same.
“Engage with your classmates, take the opportunity to collaborate with them. In classes, whether it be in person or virtual, take the time to ask them [your classmates] questions and their points of view. That is valuable to your learning,” she ended.
Get Started on Product Management with General Assembly
A product manager plays a key role, especially in organizations that are seeking to become more customer-centric and product-driven. It is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US and the demand for product managers shows no signs of slowing down.
Gaining practical and industry-relevant skills in product management is important, even for those who are not necessarily in a formal product management role. General Assembly’s part-time online product management course gives you important foundational skills in the field that you can apply to any organization, role, or position.
To learn more about the bootcamp’s online product management course, visit the course page or start your application at General Assembly here.
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