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My background is consumer and market insights as well as BD/sales; also have an MBA. Would a Project Mgmt certification help or is it totally irrelevant?
7 answers
All related (60)
Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director at Eightfold May 10

PMP--bleah. I think you got poor advice on this one. I view PMP as a certification for an administrative professional looking to get a higher-paying job. If you highlighted this cert applying to work for me, I'd view it as a negative because you are focused on operations and not creating demand for products.

Maria Jiang
Product Marketing at PagerDuty May 7

I would not advise to get a PMP certification as a means to break into product marketing. There are skills that are much more relevant / important to product marketing than project management. It helps if you are organized and structured, but you don't need a certification in project management to prove that. 

Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing at Ouster July 18

One of the most important things about being a good product marketer is knowing the market. To know the market you must interact with the market and with individual buyers and users.

I’ve worked with some very smart people who had a “project manager” mindset and my observation has been that they tend to be very focused on the company internally, focused on process and deliverables, not outcomes - and it has held them back as PMMs. Writing, design, user experience, customer experience, and product management (including PM processes like Scrum/Agile) are all important to know about, but I don’t think I would go deep into any one of them for at least your first few years of experience.

Pat Ma
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Guidewire Software July 21

Short answer, certifications are somewhat irrelevant when it comes to getting a job.

It doesn't hurt to get more education. I have an MA and MBA. But if you want to break into product marketing, then you have to show you can do the job. I think Certifications < Formal Education < Passion < Relevant Experience < Direct Experience for any job.

Understand the company's needs and show that you can solve their problems. If you haven't done the job before, then show that you are interested in doing the job. Certifications are the "icing on the cake."

James Winter
VP of Marketing at Spekit July 18

I think it would help. project management is super important in product marketing given the multitude of things you're tasked with accomplishing. How much it would help I'm not sure, but it's definitely a plus. if i was on the fence about two candidates and one had a cert, and could explain why it would benefit the business, it would make the decision much easier.

Josh Colter
Head of Marketing at Woven July 28

I don't personally have PMP certification. Certainly strong project management skills are helpful to a product marketer. But I don't know that certification is the fastest path to break in to a new role.

Instead, you might consider looking for a company with a go-to-market model that includes direct sales. Play up your background in sales and talk about how strong of a condidate you would be with the sales enablement aspect of product marketing.

Where product marketing lives within in org will be a good tell for you. You might have a leg up if it resides under marketing, since the role will likely skew more sales enablement / message crafting. 

And if you want to get certified, go for something like pragmatic marketing or the like with a more product marketing-related course. Good luck!

Derek Pando
at July 21

I'd value a project management certification as much as I would a certification on PPT or excel. Interesting point, nothing negative, but will not make much of a difference in getting hired or not.