Online PM Certifications: Worth the time & money?

“A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat”. – Deep Nishar

Skills are not congenital. Rather, they are acquired in life either by oneself or with the help of other resources. A product manager should have multiple skills to work successfully on a project. Some skills are acquired by PMs through education whereas others are attained with experience. It is true when they say experience is the best teacher. It teaches product managers how to work in difficult circumstances. 

There are some skills that product managers develop by attending courses and seminars. The certifications of these skills help product managers make their resumes more appealing and effective. The certifications for product managers can be obtained offline as well as online. Additionally, there are some of the best product manager learning resources that help PMs to make decisions wisely in many aspects.

Here, we will be discussing the online PM certifications.

What are Online PM Certifications?

Online PM certifications are the basic credentials that are obtained by product managers through virtual academic programs. These programs allow the participants to get specialized in certain areas without wasting time getting a traditional degree. A project management certification course emphasizes validating primary knowledge of the tool and the techniques. 

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Let’s discuss some of the top PM certifications.

Top PM Certifications

There are millions of PM certifications on the internet for a product manager to choose from. Moreover, there are best product manager learning resources as well. Out of those, here are the top PM certifications: 

1. PMP Certifications

PMP certifications or project management professional certification is one of the top PM certifications that is industry-recognized for project managers. It is a global certification that allows a product manager to work in any industry using any methodology in any location in the world. 


CAPM or Certified Associate in Project Management applies to professionals who are even at later stages. It is one of the top product manager courses in the industry. CAPM is for the people who are more inclined to manage projects and take on more responsibilities.

3. CSM

CSM or certified ScrumMaster is a certification that helps a product manager to become a certified scrum master. When product managers get certification in CSM, they get to learn the Scrum framework and understand team roles, events, and rules. 

4. CompTIA Project+

The CompTIA Project+ certification is designed for PMs who manage small or medium-sized projects in an organization. This entry-level certification contains all the essential project management concepts that are beyond the scope of any one methodology.

5. PPM

Professional in project management is a credential from GAQM and one of the top product manager courses in the industry. The PPM certification focuses on how to plan, execute and complete projects. Additionally, this certification course covers project management fundamentals, project management training, team building, risk management, etc.

Is it worth the time and cost?

To know if project management professional courses are worth the time and money, multiple factors are considered. Statistically, PMs with many certifications get 16% higher salaries as compared to those with fewer certifications in their resume. The PMP certification helps a PM to get an ROI of a minimum of 385%. 

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The length of project management courses varies from course to course. The online PM certification courses go in sessions. Time is not an issue here as online courses give us the option to complete it according to our ease. You can also schedule your sessions if the given time slot is not comfortable. Some advanced courses might take weeks or months.

On the other hand, the cost of an online PM certification course depends upon the length of the course, its format, and how advanced the course is. Though it is seen that online project management courses are cheaper as compared to offline courses. The downside of online courses is that there will not be any certified instructor to assist you in learning. The online PM certification courses are worth the time and money. Though it is important to choose a course that will help in improve your resume. You should look into top product manager courses and best product manager learning resources before enlisting in any course. 

Additionally, one thing to consider is that certifications are great in theory, but never in practice. You need to account for these certifications in 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, various other ways of doing so aren’t via certifications.


As a product manager, real-world experience helps more than the courses you have completed. Getting into the courses 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. Henceforth, you do not 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 online courses.


The article discusses online PM certifications. Online PM certifications are the basic credentials that are obtained by product managers through virtual academic programs. Some of the top product manager courses are PMP, CAPM, CSM, CompTIA Project+, and PPM. Time is not an issue in online PM certification courses as they give us the option to complete it according to our ease. Online project management courses are cheaper as compared to offline courses. Sometimes, certifications tend to be rigid and do not account for flexibility. One should look for the best product manager learning resources that will also help the PMs to choose which certifications to attain.

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