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Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Product Management Program

What's the Best Product Manager program for you right now? At this point, you have probably done some research on the field of product management. You have concluded that you could use some extra help, and you are trying to decide what is the best product manager program for you and whether or not you even need to take a program at all.
13 min read

Before we jump into our detailed analysis, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel where we release weekly content on everything covering product manager job hunt.

In this blog we aim to provide you with the clarity you need to make the best decision for yourself. Throughout this blog, we will be providing you with a comparison of how Product Gym matches up with the two options you sure have heard of. We will do this by showing you how we measure to our counterparts in 4 Main Areas: Career Support, Product Management Education and Skills Development, and Overall Experience.

Clarifying Intentions 

These are just a few questions you should ask yourself before jumping into any program while you read this blog:  

  • What are your intentions in taking a program?
  • Are you trying to land a product manager job? If so, will this be your first product manager position, or are you currently working as a product manager right now, and you are looking for your next challenge?
  • Are you already working in product management right now, and you are trying to develop new skills?
  • Are you unsure if Product Management is the right fit for you, but you would like to enroll in a program first? 
  • What outcomes are you hoping to achieve from a program? 

You don’t need to have any of these questions answered, but you need to have them in mind.

Career Coaching

Career Coaching

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Career Coaches

Yes

No

Yes

The Product Gym Alumni Network

Yes

No

No

Introduction to Technical Recruiters

Yes

No

No

On-Campus Recruiting

Yes

No

No

Web-Based Resources

Yes

No

No

When considering which Product Management program to go with, one should look at the level of Career Support they will have during their time in the course.  Product Management is a highly competitive field to get into, and it can be challenging to keep working towards that goal. This is why you need a sound support system in place that can push you to keep working even when you don’t want to. Our members on average land 3 to 5 Product Manager offers within 8 to 10 weeks after they are onboarded with Product Gym (granted the member fulfills all the work Product Gym requires of them within the first 30 days). We created a program to help you secure 3 to 5 offers because we understand exactly how vital landing the right product manager job is to you.

The Right Product Manager Job Video

Questions to Ask the Interviewer to Know if this is the Best Company For You to Be a Product Manager

The majority of our members come from a non-technical background ranging from finance, consulting, MBA grads, sales, marketing, and project managers. We do also have working Product Managers and Software Engineers that have completed our program in the past as well. You can visit our Member Success Page to see some of the testimonials our past members have provided. 

Career Coaches

At Product Gym, our Career Coaches comprise of former Technical Recruiters (they understand hiring intimately), Veteran Product Managers, and Past Members who have completed the program and are working in product management right now. They are all here to help you every step of the way. From helping you structure personalized game plans to providing you with relentless motivation when you need it most, you will always have the support you need to become a successful product manager and land a job as soon as possible. 

Product Gym In-Residence Career Coaches help you reach your Career Goals faster by: 

  • Customizing an effective career-management strategy.
  • Assisting with self-assessment exercises.
  • Providing a suite of tools to research industries and job-functions.
  • Developing necessary career skills (e.g., resume writing, networking).
  • Teaching interpersonal presentation strategies through mock interviews.
  • Evaluating job offers and teaching negotiation techniques.
  • Providing strategies to leverage your strengths and industry experience for you to transition into the best Product Manager role for you. 

The Product Gym Alumni Network

Product Gym members enjoy full access to our Alumni Network for both job searches and for connecting with a local alumnus. We have 500+ alumni in the Greater New York Area alone with another 50+ in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as other parts of the country and the UK. Currently, close to 1 in 4 of our members are landing offers at companies our alumni are currently working at right now. 

Referrals to Technical Recruiters and Staffing Agencies

We also introduce you to an approved list of Technical Recruiting vendors.  With this list, you do not have to worry if the recruiter you are working with has your best interests at heart. Technical Recruiters work with companies of every size to ensure they onboard only the best Product Managers each local market has to offer. 

On-Campus Recruiting

Product Gym’s on-campus recruiting services are available to all Product Gym members. Given the expertise we have in the marketplace, companies from around the country reach out to us looking for Product Manager hires with specific experience all the time. 

Member Portal 

Product Gym members have full access to Product Gym’s proprietary web-based career-management resources. Our online repositories provide a wealth of content specifically targeted to the needs of Product Gym Members, including:

  • Comprehensive practical information
  • Worksheets
  • Articles
  • Databases
  • Online Guides
  • Relevant Links

Branding 

Branding

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Resume Revamp

Yes

No

No

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

Yes

No

No

Cover Letter Revamp

Yes

No

No

Tailored Backstory

Yes

No

No

You will have your Resume, LinkedIn, Cover Letter, and Backstory in 7 to 10 days after you enroll with Product Gym. 

Custom Resume Revamp

Transitioning into Product Management and generating interviews can be stressful when you don’t have much relevant experience to work with. After joining a course at Product Gym, you will get a consultation from us where we will help you completely revamp your resume. At Product Gym, we understand how recruiting works, as well as how Product Management hiring teams shift and sort through talent. 

We will help you brand and optimize your resume so that your applications can pass through the resume bots that serve as the gatekeepers between you and the Product Manager job of your dreams. Every resume we advise on is designed to help you go mass market; that way, you do not have to waste your time spending hours on end customizing your resume for targeted positions that you may never hear back from. 

How to Write the Best Product Manager Resume

Resume Video

Custom LinkedIn Profile Optimization

Did you know that 80% of the Product Manager positions out in the market are not even posted on job boards? These positions are the exclusive roles that companies use specialized technical recruiters and headhunters to help scout out. Your LinkedIn profile only has one purpose, and that is to help generate more interviews that you care about. For those of you coming from Accounting, Banking, Consulting, Finance, Sales, Marketing, and a few other niche roles, you are probably already receiving LinkedIn Inmail Messages about roles that you do not care about. Product Gym will help optimize your LinkedIn profile for the roles that you actually do care about. 

How to Increase Your Visibility to Product Manager Recruiters

Custom Cover Letter Revamp

Cover Letters still matter, and that is why Product Gym will help you write one. The importance of cover letters is high; most Product Managers we talk to will not consider a Product Manager for a hireable position unless they have a well constructed Cover Letter. 

Tailored Backstory

We will also help you create a tailored backstory that will help sell your background and strengths. This way, you have a tailored pitch to go into every interview. A tailored background that highlights your strengths rather than your weaknesses will dramatically differentiate you from your competition. 

Application Training

Application Training

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Scalable Application Methodology

Yes

No

No

You will start applying in 10 to 14 days after you enroll with us. Our competitors will encourage you to apply to positions towards the end of your class or even after your course has ended.  

How in the world does that even make sense? The only leverage your Product Management Instructor offers you is the insight they can provide for you during actual Product Management interviews. We have our members apply within 10 to 14 days because we understand that it takes time for hiring teams to get back to your application. 

Scalable Application Methodology

Our proven Application Methodology allows you to apply to 60 to 100 applications in less than 1 hour. You are busy, and we appreciate that. Spending hours on end using to positions is not scalable, which is why we created a process where you can achieve scale with your applications. 

How to Garner Multiple Product Manager Offers in 2020

Interview Support 

Interview Support

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Start Interviewing Now

Before Program Starts

After Program Ends

After Program Ends

Interview Feedback

Yes

No

No

Vault of 500+ Company Product Management Interview Questions with Answers

Yes

No

No

Case Study and Interview Assignment Support

Yes

No

No

Start Interviewing Now

In addition to teaching the essential skills required to become a successful Product Manager, Product Gym emphasizes helping you secure your own interviews so you can land the right Product Manager job faster. The application, as well as receiving a response from the company you applied for, takes time. It can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks. You must apply to as many jobs as possible, so you can start interviewing immediately. Anybody that has aggressively job hunted before understands that if you apply to a job today, that does not mean that you will hear back tomorrow or even this week. 

You will be able to start generating interviews within 21 days after you enroll with us, while at Product School and General Assembly, you won’t begin interviewing until after the class ends. 

Interview Feedback

Since our inception, we have been able to develop a rich vault of Product Management Interview questions. We have provided feedback to all the interviews our members do, so they can understand what they did well, what they need to improve, and how. 

Case Study and Interview Assignment Support

There are four rounds to every Product Management interview. Case Studies and Interview Assignments have become more prevalent between the 2nd Round Phone Call Interview and the 3rd Round Onsite Interview. Neither Product School or General Assembly provides their members with any support in this area. It is crucial to the success of any Product Manager candidate in the market. 

Case Study Video

How to Solve a Product Manager Case Study in Four Simple Steps

How to Quickly and Successfully Complete a Take Home Assignment with WeWork Labs Mentor

Product Management Education and Skills Support

Program Content

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

5-Hour Technical Engineering Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Design Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Data Analytics Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Marketing Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Strategy Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Culture Fit and Behavior Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

Subject Matter Experts as Instructors

Yes

No

No

Program Duration

6 Weeks

8 Weeks

10 Weeks

Program Material Access

12 Months

Program Duration

Program Duration

Enrollment

Anytime

Scheduled

Scheduled

Our Course Content is 100% dedicated to helping you ace the interview and crush it on the job. Our vault of Product Management Interview Questions has given us very actionable insight that the questions you are asked pertain to the job you will be hired to do. 

What you’ll learn during a Product Management course is essential when making a decision. All three courses will offer education in essential Product Management skills, so how are they any different from each other? 

Product Gym Program Content 

At Product Gym, we understand the importance of the job interview, and teaching you how to prepare for it is one of the things we focus on. You will learn what will typically be needed from you in an interview, and also receive feedback on your interviews. You will also gain access to a vault of over 3,000 interview questions and answers for you to practice with.

Along with the vault of interview questions available to you, we also offer several different interview workshops to get you ready for the real thing. Our weekly 5 hour workshops allow you to understand how these fundamentals relate to the interviews covering topics such as technical engineering, product design, data analysis, product marketing, product strategy, and culture fit and behavior. 

Product School Program Content 

Product School does touch on how actually to search for a job. During the course’s last week, they teach job search strategy and how to interview for product management jobs. But for people transitioning into Product Management, one week is not long enough to master the Product Management interview.

General Assembly Program Content 

At General Assembly, the essential skills are all that you will learn. Their last week of the course does touch on the realities of the job market, but there is nothing to help you land a Product Management job.

Product Gym Instructors

Another area you should focus on when choosing the right Product Management program for you is the amount of support you will receive. The instructors themselves are key to your success during a Product Management program, so having multiple instructors or coaches to go to for help is extremely important. It wouldn’t be fair to assess the quality of the instructors themselves, as all of them have experience with Product Management. However, Product Gym does provide a certain advantage when it comes to its instructors.

Product School Instructors

At Product School, you have one lead instructor per program, and that’s it. This means that if you need help or advice, Product School limits you to only one person to contact. While the instructor might be a Product Manager with a great amount of knowledge, they might have trouble getting you the personalized help you need. The instructor would most likely be spreading themselves too thin, and you could simply slip through the cracks and not receive the help that you need because there wasn’t time to get to you. 

General Assembly Instructors

Courses at General Assembly, being the most prominent company out of the three, means that the instructor is handling even more members than at Product Gym or Product School, making it even harder for you to receive advice and help on a one-on-one basis.

One thing missing in both Product School and General Assembly, in regards to instructors, is variety. Product management requires you to be proficient or at least knowledgeable in multiple areas of expertise, and no one product manager is perfect. Some product managers will be better suited to teach you certain aspects of the job than others. With only one lead instructor, there is no way to be sure that you are getting the best possible instruction for every aspect of product management. 

This is where Product Gym shines. Similarly to our competitors, our course has one lead instructor.  However, in addition to the lead instructor, you will also be taught by subject matter experts, including: 

  • Technical and Software Engineering Leads
  • Product Designers, UX Designers/Researchers
  • Data Scientists 
  • Product Marketing Managers
  • Product Strategists 

They will co-teach the course with the lead product management instructor by focusing each of their respective 2.5-hour classes on the subject they are professionally skilled in, allowing you to get the most out of each class. We wanted to give you this advantage because the most challenging part of the job-hunting process is the onsite interviews. We take your time seriously when it comes to interviewing. Product management onsite interviews can last anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. How much time can you take off your day job before it becomes blatantly obvious you are looking for another job? We figured that the best possible advantage we can offer your job search and career development is to invite all the different kinds of stakeholders you will have to interface with daily as a product manager. The better you can understand how these stakeholders think, no matter what question you are asked during the onsite interview (because it’s impossible to know the answer to every question), you can always answer the questions with clarity.

As mentioned before, Product School limits each course to one instructor. It would be hard for anyone person to keep up with how each member is doing on an individual basis, and you might not receive the support you need all the time. 

General Assembly, however, does provide course producers as well as teaching assistants to help support their members, so they do have an advantage over Product School in this category.

Class Duration

Close to 43% of our members come from Product School and/or General Assembly. Although our members generally report having a positive experience in these programs, they found it challenging to secure Product Manager Interviews and Job Offers after completion. 

All of our members can access our classes for an additional 12 months after their class has ended.  The reason for this is that we understand that your transition may last a while, depending on the amount of time you have to interview. 

Upon your enrollment, we put you directly into a pre-course, so you are not waiting for your class to start. Product management is not about staying still, so why should you? 

With a full-time job as well as other responsibilities, it can be hard to find time to take a full-time product management course. For this reason, our class is part-time, meeting after your day job twice a week.  While this is also the case for both Product School’s and General Assembly’s course, the length of the course itself is what separates us. The classes at Product School and General Assembly last eight weeks and ten weeks, respectively, while Product Gym’s courses last only six weeks, which makes it the shortest and most flexible course available to you. We waste no time teaching you the ins and outs of product management, and will help you get your resume ready for applying as soon as possible. 

Lifetime Access to Courses and Resources

Being the shortest course between the three companies, Product Gym focuses on more robust topics that matter in the transition to product management while cutting out the unnecessary, such as two weeks of Public Speaking training. As a bonus, Product Gym is the only program that will give you lifetime access after the program has ended. It would be unrealistic to say that every person who enrolls in a Product Management course will land a job within the course duration, regardless of which one you choose. We are aware that some people might take more time to find a job than others, so we give our members access to our classes for up to twelve months after enrolling in the course. At Product School and General Assembly, your class access ends when the course does, which means when your 8-10 weeks are up, you will not receive any more help, whether you found a position or not. 

Enrollment 

You can enroll anytime that works best for you and still receive the full six weeks of instruction. 

At Product School and General Assembly, the courses have scheduled start and end dates, so if the dates they provide don’t work for you, you’re out of luck. 

With Product Gym, the course starts when you want it to. 

Overall Experience

We will let the market determine which program is the best fit for you. Switch Up has long been regarded as the Yelp of our industry, and you will surely find all the answers you need in the links below.

Product Gym Switch Up Review Page 

Product School Switch Up Review Page

General Assembly Switch Up Review Page

Big Obvious Disclaimer

The Product Gym team wrote this content. The fun fact is that this program was built by our Founder, Richard Chen, after his experience as the Campus Director for Product School’s New York Campus. It was not created to compete, but to serve the needs of a more specific target. Product Gym’’s objective is to “make sure you learn in a very practical way how to land a Product Manager job.”

Full Breakdown 

Career Coaching

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Career Coaches

Yes

No

Yes

The Product Gym Alumni Network

Yes

No

No

Introduction to Technical Recruiters

Yes

No

No

On-Campus Recruiting

Yes

No

No

Web-Based Resources

Yes

No

No

    

Branding

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Resume Revamp

Yes

No

No

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

Yes

No

No

Cover Letter Revamp

Yes

No

No

Tailored Backstory

Yes

No

No

    

Application Training

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Scalable Application Methodology

Yes

No

No

    

Interview Support

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Start Interviewing Now

Before Program Starts

After Program Ends

After Program Ends

Interview Feedback

Yes

No

No

Vault of 500+ Company Product Management Interview Questions with Answers

Yes

No

No

Case Study and Interview Assignment Support

Yes

No

No

    

Case Study Support

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

Case Study and Interview Assignment Support

Yes

No

No

    

Program Content

Product Gym

Product School

General Assembly

5-Hour Technical Engineering Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Design Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Data Analytics Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Marketing Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Product Strategy Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

5-Hour Culture Fit and Behavior Fundamentals and Interview Workshop

Yes

No

No

Subject Matter Experts as Instructors

Yes

No

No

Program Duration

6 Weeks

8 Weeks

10 Weeks

Program Material Access

12 Months

Program Duration

Program Duration

Enrollment

Anytime

Scheduled

Scheduled

 

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If you are interested in our services, schedule a call with us. For all other inquires, feel free to reach out to us directly via the contact form or email.