Associate Product Manager

Job details

Top skills: Metrics definition Listening Negotiation Market analysis Product roadmap
Suggested skill score: 180

Skills Breakdown

We believe in the power and joy of learning

At Cengage Group, our employees have a direct impact in helping students around the world discover the power and joy of learning. We are bonded by our shared purpose – driving innovation that helps millions of learners improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education.

Our culture values diversity, engagement, and discovery

Our business is driven by our strong culture, and we know that creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is absolutely essential to the success of our company and our learners, as well as our individual well-being. We recognize the value of diverse perspectives in everything we do and strive to ensure employees of all levels and backgrounds feel empowered to voice their ideas and bring their authentic selves to work. We achieve these priorities through inclusive programs, benefits, and initiatives that are integrated into the fabric of how we work every day. To learn more, please see

The Associate Portfolio Product Manager is a Portfolio Product Management (PPM) role at Cengage with an expectation that you are ready to independently lead and demonstrate the full PPM responsibilities within 24–36 months. This particular APPM role will cover our US Higher Education Counseling & Social Work portfolio within the Skills & Career team.

At Cengage, the APPM is responsible for crafting the product strategy, making product decisions, and leading a cross-functional product team. The Associate PPM role differs from the PPM role in that there is a larger focus on learning and development. During one’s time in the role, an Associate PPM hones the skills and proficiencies expected of full PPMs.

Crucial Duties/Responsibilities

Lead a profitable product line and develop a strategic business plan in partnership with the Portfolio Product Director. The ideal candidate can be objective and willing to make hard choices regarding investment prioritization for the good of the overall organization. Ability to:

  • Use data to make market-informed business proposals; take mitigated risks and inform strategic decisions; and translate strategy into organized end-to-end development plans with budgets, resources, and performance goals.
  • Develop plans and see them through to completion.
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills with keen ability to facilitate team meetings, focus groups, interviews, presentations, and trainings.
  • Understand the basic tenants of learning design and theory.
  • Establish yourself as product champion and team leader — taking on accountability and ownership.
  • Understand, analyze, identify, define, and size market segments associated with the assigned portfolio.
  • Lead product lifecycle of multiple products simultaneously within scope and budget.
  • Fully understand and track all product activity that affects assigned portfolio, including any product launches/enhancements and competitor movement. Develop a keen understanding of all competitors; develop an ability to anticipate competitor activity as it pertains to product medium or subject area.
  • Identify and test product ideas within segments, including the administration of focus groups, advisory boards, reviews, customer meetings and sensing as appropriate.
  • Regularly analyze product and portfolio plans to align forecasting and measurement of progress towards goals; provide business case for investment decisions. Suggest and monitor production budgets and schedules.
  • Partner closely with Marketing and Sales teams to seed and secure adoptions and work closely with colleagues in other functional areas (Development, Production, Marketing, Sales, Technology, etc.).
  • Make presentations at company sales meetings, campus visits, and academic conventions in support of sales efforts and to drive sales.

Skills You Will Need Here

Basic (Required)

  • Creative and curious problem solver and collaborator
  • Understanding of the educational software and publishing industry
  • Excellent at articulating vision and strategy and helping team members understand how their work impacts business success
  • Customer-focused; understands how customer needs and challenges translate into opportunities
  • Commitment to results; Enthusiastic “can-do” demeanor and persistence
  • Strong negotiation and influence skills
  • Experience using standard research methods and user testing models
  • BA or BS degree
  • Experienced user of MS PowerPoint, Excel, Word
  • Ability to tell a product story through numbers — the financials, product usage, the market
  • Ability to self-manage and self-access personal progress against achievements and results with a high degree of accountability and personal vitality
  • Passion for improving education
  • Experience working on teams that built digital solutions and software
  • Familiarity with agile development process
  • Background in customer-facing positions
  • Understanding of how financial calculations and digital metrics are used in product management
  • Ability to travel during peak selling seasons


  • Experience leading a team
  • Experience in writing requirements and crafting user stories
  • Work experience in education technology, non-traditional players, or software development

Cengage Group is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, parental status, cultural background, organizational level, work styles, tenure and life experiences. Or for any other reason. You may view Cengage’s EEO/Affirmative Action Policy signed by CEO Michael Hansen and Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law notice by visiting their corresponding links.

Cengage Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at [email protected] or you may call us at +1 (617) 289-7917.

About Cengage Group

Cengage Group, a global education technology company serving millions of learners, provides affordable, quality digital products and services that equip students with the skills and competencies needed to be job ready. For more than 100 years, we have enabled the power and joy of learning with trusted, engaging content, and now, integrated digital platforms. We serve the higher education, workforce skills, secondary education, English language teaching and research markets worldwide. Through our scalable technology, including MindTap and Cengage Unlimited, we support all learners who seek to improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education.


At Cengage Group, we take great pride in our commitment to providing a comprehensive and rewarding Total Rewards package designed to support and empower our employees. Click here to learn more about our Total Rewards Philosophy.

The full base pay range has been provided for this position. Individual base pay will vary based on work schedule, qualifications, experience, internal equity, and geographic location. Sales roles often incorporate a significant incentive compensation program beyond this base pay range.

$58,300.00 – $93,200.00 USD

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Individual Project

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