Best Product Management Bootcamps in 2020
Product management is very much a career for ‘idea’ people. Product managers can be the brains behind a new product, but more often the strategists that determine what gets to the market and how. Product managers are a massive asset to companies, and they’re well compensated for it. According to Glassdoor, product managers earn an average base salary of $100,038 per year, with bonuses averaging between $3,500 and $27,000. Top earners report salaries nearing $150,000 making product management a lucrative career.
In addition to great compensation, opportunities in the field are on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will grow 8% in the next decade or so, which is faster than average. Product management is an exciting and lucrative career—and you can learn the industry in a product management bootcamp.
Best Product Management Bootcamps 2020
Why Choose a Product Management Bootcamp?
The coding bootcamp model is ideal for a subject like product management. Of course, product management isn’t a coding field—but it is deeply embedded into the tech industry. The bootcamp model allows motivated individuals to learn the intricacies of product management efficiently. Bootcamps train people with marketable skills and get them into the market rapidly. And while a bootcamp certificate isn’t equivalent to a college degree, these programs offer a significant cost and time advantage over university. Plus, the value of up-to-date marketable skills (in an industry where degrees are optional) cannot be overstated.
Product Management Bootcamp Curriculum
Some product management bootcamps are designed for professionals looking to advance in their careers. These programs offer their services to companies looking to promote candidates, and train them for the position in a matter of weeks.
However, many product management programs are designed for people with no industry experience. And, for beginning a career in tech, the compensation is impressive. Product management bootcamps cover a wide range of topics, including some coding.
Students learn how to formulate a plan to launch a product and direct a product throughout its entire lifecycle. This includes learning data analysis strategies, market research, and stakeholder management. Product managers work on a team to ensure the successful launch of a product, so collaboration practice is key.
Popular Product Management Bootcamp Courses
Many product management programs are hosted by larger bootcamps, such as General Assembly. These major organizations also host a variety of coding bootcamps, covering everything from software engineering to technology sales.
Product management bootcamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and appeal to different target markets. As we mentioned earlier, some programs are aimed at professionals looking to rank-up in their company. Other programs are designed for beginners who want to start their first technology career.
Product management bootcamps are available with full-time and part-time schedules. Students can also opt for in-person or online courses, some of which offer live classes, instructors, and scheduled attendance. Some flexible programs also exist for people with conflicting responsibilities.
Product Management Bootcamp Interview Process
Product management bootcamps aren’t unlike other programs—they require an application and an interview, similar to college admission (but usually not as time consuming). The first step of the process for students is filling out and submitting the application. If the bootcamp decides the applicant is a good fit for the program, they work to arrange a time for an in-person or online interview. The follow-up interview is for fact-finding, and also a chance for applicants to learn more about the bootcamp.
After the interview, some schools require a brief skills test. The prevalence of skills testing prior to admission isn’t well studied but receiving such a test is certainly possible. In most cases, the test is manageable with some basic study beforehand. After the interview and (possible) testing, applicants move on to a final interview. Some programs skip the final interview and admit the applicant, who can then choose to attend or find another program.
Bootcamp Financing Options
Product management bootcamps often provide the same financing and payment options as traditional coding bootcamps. Unlike colleges, bootcamps aren’t bound to dated financial institutions. Most bootcamp students aren’t saddled with decades of crippling loan debt for two main reasons—bootcamps generally cost less than college, and income share agreements (ISAs) serve as a fail-safe if it doesn’t work out. Also, scholarships can wipe out a significant portion of tuition cost, so don’t hesitate to investigate what programs you qualify for.
Product Management Bootcamp Loans
Income Share Agreements (ISAs)
Income share agreements (ISAs), pioneered by coding bootcamps over the last decade, are a revolutionary new way to pay for education. At its core, the ISA is both a tuition deferment and a job guarantee. These programs, though a recent arrival to the education scene, appear to put pressure on schools to provide a better education. Simultaneously, ISAs reduce the risk typically absorbed by students.
Income share agreements defer tuition payments until after students graduate and land a job in the field they trained for. Plus, ISAs have a minimum income requirement, and won’t accept payment until the threshold (around $60,000 or more) is met. Once students are making a living income, they agree to pay a fixed percentage of their salary (15% or so) for between 2 to 3 years on average, or until a set dollar amount is met. After, students are completely finished with their payment obligations.
Additionally, income share agreements often require that a student find employment within a year. If despite their best efforts, their education couldn’t help them find a job, schools often waive tuition entirely. Some income share agreements even offer living stipends for full-time programs, making it economically viable for many more people to attend bootcamp.
Product Management Bootcamp Structure
Product management bootcamps are structured differently, students generally learn the same core topics. Students learn Agile at many bootcamps and focus a significant amount of time on product strategies. At the end of the program, students should be trained in roadmapping, and perform a product launch with a team, and successfully evaluate the results.
Bootcamp Alumni Projects and Portfolios
Product managers follow a product from design and development to its last days on the market—effectively taking charge of its entire lifecycle. They analyze market trends and decide what should (and shouldn’t) be introduced to the market, and when.
These professionals take charge of the team and develop a launch strategy and manage the introduction of the product to the market. They evaluate performance throughout the life of the product. They also suggest and approve changes based on market trends and data analysis. Eventually, product managers determine when it’s time to update or remove the product. As you can see, analysis and judgement go hand in hand. Product management is a fact and data-based field, but good sense is involved at every level.
Will coding bootcamp help me get a job?
Absolutely! Coding bootcamp is a proven way to train for a job in tech. Many coding bootcamps offer job guarantees, and some refund tuition if graduates can’t find a job in the field they trained for. In fact, coding bootcamp teaches skills that many college computer science graduates lack.
How much do coding bootcamps cost?
Coding bootcamp tuition varies. Coding bootcamps in New York City cost around $10,000 to $20,000. However, many scholarships and tuition deferment programs are available, so what you see doesn’t have to be what you pay.
What are income share agreements?
Income share agreements, or ISAs, are a new way to pay for education. These programs defer tuition until after students graduate and find a job in the industry. Once students are employed and making above a certain income threshold (usually $40-60,000 per year) they begin paying a fixed percent of their income, often for around 2 years. If students can’t find a job, many bootcamps waive the cost of tuition.
Do I have to learn coding to work in the tech industry?
You don’t have to learn coding to work in the tech industry. In fact, there are several non-coding bootcamps in New York City. These programs train you for a position in tech sales, marketing, or product management–all of which are well-paid positions with plenty of advancement opportunity.