Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review: Learn How to Become A Product Manager Online

Product management is a fun and exciting role. Product managers use their creativity and market research to build up plans that map out product pathways right from the onset to successful launch, all the way to beating competition. A product manager is a leader; one that specializes in bringing departments together as they go from inception to planning, development, all the way to sales. While a motivated attitude and a clear vision are excellent features of project management, professionals interested in this role require a set of skills, some of which they can learn online. This is where Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree program comes in.

But first, what is exactly is product management?

Simply put, a product manager solves problems for organizations. If your life is inclined to creative thinking, curiosity, and problem-solving, then chances are product management is the perfect career path for you, and you would be a perfect fit for a role where you can learn, practice, and grow. Product management sits side by side with customer experience.

Essential product management skills

The three key pillars of product management are negotiation, communication, and trade-off conversation skills. As a product manager, you will be relying on insights to convince people and justify decisions. While these do not seem like technical skills, the truth of the matter is that you need to nail them to develop the right products for your customers at the right time.

So, why should you learn product management?

Success in product management lies in your innate desire and curiosity to learn. This role comes with plenty of opportunities for acquiring new skills and gaining knowledge. Here are some of the reasons why you should learn product management.

Understanding your team and customers

Understanding the backgrounds and mindsets of your customers and teams is key to anticipating their reactions to your decisions. For instance, a developer who has worked on and made recommendations on your product is likely to have an opinion on your product’s roadmap. On the other hand, a consumer who describes themselves as “risk averse” is likely to have a strong opinion on your products.

As a product manager, it is important that you encourage engagement and discussions between those affected by your decisions. This involves asking questions of sales departments and customers. This is important when seeking to earn trust from your teams and customers.

Learning new skills

Most product managers graduate from college with diplomas that are quite far outside of the domain of the products they are managing. An important indicator of a product manager’s success is their desire to continually upgrade their skills.

Acquiring new experiences

An innovative product manager is usually an early adopter of technology and products. Embracing new technological concepts by trying them out helps engage your product manager brain cells. By figuring out new technologies, you will have a lot to talk about with your team.

Udacity Product management Nanodegree review.

There are tens of online learning platforms out there, each of which claim to best. That said, Udacity has enjoys great reputation thanks to their industry-focused Nanodegree programs. All their online courses are created in collaboration with top organizations with the goal of training job-ready graduates. Besides their in-depth instructions, Udacity Nanodegree programs give learners the chance to gain hands-on experience courtesy of their industry-centric projects. This post provides a comprehensive review of Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree program with the goal of helping you decide if it is a right fit for you.

A little about Udacity

Udacity (read review) was founded in 2012 by two Sanford University professors with the goal of giving everyone an opportunity to acquire a university quality education from any location in the world, and at a fraction of the traditional cost. Today, Udacity offers free as well as comprehensive online courses in IT, tech, and business. All of Udacity’s courses are facilitated by some of the finest experts in the industry. All their courses are designed with real-world case studies and are built in collaboration with top players like Google, Amazon, and Uber among others.

Udacity attempts to stay current with the ever-evolving world of technology by reviewing and tweaking their courses to meet the current market needs.

Udacity Nanodegree programs

Udacity Nanodegree courses are designed to acquaint learners with skills in a specific topic. Most of these online courses come with projects and a curriculum that builds your skill step-by-step to provide you with the skills you need to make your way into the job market. Alongside a rich curriculum, each Nanodegree course comes with the following extras:

Freedom to set your learning schedule

One of the greatest things about online education is that you can always adapt them to fit your schedule. Of course, there will be project due dates to observe, but for everything else, you have complete freedom to set your learning schedule. Thus, you can sign into your dashboard and learn at any time of day.

Udacity student community

Udacity’s student forum is a great platform to meet other students taking the same course or other courses within the platform. It is a great place to chat, bounce ideas around, build networks, or simply get social.

Mentorship program

Learning alone can be challenging. Udacity assigns each learner a knowledgeable mentor that you can contact when you need help or motivation to carry one with your course.

Real world projects

Each Nanodegree program comes with projects that allow you to apply the knowledge you have learned in the previous modules. These projects mimic real-world challenges that organizations go through, and some even created in collaboration with leading companies to give you leverage on real-world applications.

Career preparation

Udacity career prep services are meant to review and update your resume and LinkedIn profile with employers in mind and facilitate a mock interview to get you prepped up for the actual job interview.

Product Manager Nanodegree course prerequisites

This Nanodegree program is designed for anyone who wants to build up a career in product management. Being a beginner course, you do not need any prerequisites or prior experience to sign up for the course. However, you should know your way around computers and possess some leadership skills. That said, you can polish your skills with these free Udacity courses before signing up for this Nanodegree. 

Product Manager Nanodegree course instructors

Another area where Udacity beats competition is in their teaching staff. The platform hires highly qualified tutors with experience in the industry. Here are the tutors you will interact with while studying this product management course online:

Anastasia Root

Anastasia has overseen products for dating as well as real estate apps. She is currently working at Google as a Product Manager, where she is overseeing the growth of Google’s iOS search application.

Alex King

Alex is the current Product Manager at Uber. Before this, he worked at JUMP to enhance user experience. He has also worked with the setup of at home technologies like Chromecast and Google.

Yuva Murugan

Yuva is passionate about enhancing user experience. She has worked with organizations, from startups to Fortune 500, to help them realize their visions and enhance their user experiences.

Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree review: Course Breakdown

This Nanodegree program is divided into four modules. Each module ends with a project that is reviewed by your tutors, and you need to pass each project in order to graduate. Alongside the tutorials, each topic from the modules comes with a series of exercises that provides you with a practical experience on the subject. Here are the modules you will learn in this Nanodegree program.

Product Strategy

This module introduces learners to the role of a Product Manager as well as the skills needed to pursue this role. You will learn effective communication, negotiation skills, as well as project presentation. You will also learn how to understand your target market and the opportunities for your product as well as how to develop a business model. Ideally, this module lays the foundation for the rest of the program.

Your project for this course will have you create a Power Point presentation on the product you intend to build and create a 10-minute pitch for it. You will be provided with project cases as well as a presentation template, so you will only have to focus on content.

Product Design

The second module is a bit comprehensive as it is going to take you through the phases of a “design sprint”-  starting from understanding and defining the product, to product prototyping, testing, and handling things thereafter.

Unlike the other modules, this module is focused on exercises that you should complete in order to understand the different phases of the design sprint. The final project in this module will require you to simulate a design sprint by providing materials that are created by your “team” and have you play the role of a product manager.

Product Development

This module is even tougher than the previous ones. It contains a lot of information compared to the previous two that are mostly focused on exercises. The first lesson in this module tells you how to gain knowledge of the product and the market as well as how to negotiate. Most of the video tutorials in this module are about Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, user stories, and how to build a backlog among others.

This module ends with a project that will require you to manage the development of the product you have started on with the previous modules. This means working in the Agile environment to write user stories and work with backlog and other stuff.

Product Launch

This final module takes you back to having a mix of video tutorials and exercises. Here you will learn how to prepare for the product launch, how to work with other partners and teams, as well as what you should do immediately after launching the product.

The final project will have you simulate a product launch, including a launch plan, go-to-market strategy, as well as defining the project’s next iteration.

Course duration

While learners are at liberty to set their own learning schedules and pace, Udacity projects that you can complete this Nanodegree program within 4 months if you are committing 10-15 hours per week to learning. The more time you set aside for the course, the faster you will complete it, something you might want to consider given that time is a factor in determining how much you will pay for the course.

Course cost

Udacity has two pricing models for its Nanodegree programs: per monthly access and lump sum payment.

As the name suggests, the monthly access option allows you to pay $399 for every month that you access the course. This is a great option if you believe you can complete this online course within Udacity’s recommended 4 months.

If you opt for the lump sum option, you will have a 15% discount off the total, which is $1,200. For this course, this will bring down the cost to $359/month.

Whichever payment plan you settle for, Udacity is currently offering a 50% discount on all its Nanodegree programs. Additionally, the platform is offering financial assistance for learners during this prevailing global Covid-19 pandemic. Take advantage of these offers today and sign up for this Nanodegree program here.

What other learners say about this course

To give you a good idea of what this Nanodegree is like, we have included some feedback from learners who have already taken the course. Overall, the course has a rating of 4.7/5. Here is what previous learners had to say about this online product manager course.

“It was great learning with Udacity due to the following reasons: 1 . Great mentor support and clear, detailed reviews on each project. 2. Videos were full of knowledge and encouragement to read more. 3. Links provided for extra knowledge and accessibility on topics was of great help 4. Quizzes were the best part of course as they are a continuous learning assessment. Thank you Udacity!!” .. Shivangi B.

“I like the programm, especially that it is divided in this short chapters which you can go through easily as it fits to the schedule. The project assignments are interesting and the feedback is very valuable. I just completed the first project and have already learnt a lot of new methods and tools!”  Clara H.

“So far so good! I finished my first project, got really good feedback and have been learning a lot so far. My confidence in the knowledge from this course has increased a lot and I look forward to completing this program fully armed with all the information I need for the real world.” Dorin H.

A look at the job market

Product management is projected to be one of the hottest careers in the coming years. According to Medium, there was a 32 percent increase in the demand for product managers. This demand is projected to grow as more and more businesses increase their online presence to keep up with the rise digital visitors.

When it comes to salary, Aha reports that the product managers earn anywhere from $61,000 to $200,000 based on experience and industry.

Udacity product manager Nanodegree review: Final thoughts

There is no doubt that project management is a promising career. Building up your knowledge base and gaining relevant industry experience now can mean great things for your career in the years to come.

Choosing to learn product management online with Udacity has its benefits, especially since you have the freedom to set your learning schedule and choose where and when to learn. Additionally, Udacity is a reputable online learning platform, one that collaborates with innovative companies to create competitive learning courses for their students. While the final decision is yours, you will never go wrong with this Product Manager Nanodegree program, especially if you are passionate about a career in this exciting field.

We wish you a happy learning!

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