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5 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Product Management

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Updated: February 26, 2024, Reading time: 17 minutes

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The Master’s in Product Management, interchangeably referred to as Operations Management, is an important aspect of any business organization. This field allows graduate students to analyze, understand, and manage the operations of an organization, especially when it comes to the manufacturing aspect in a global scale.

In this advanced degree program, students can expect to focus on the different processes when it comes to production and product management as well as logistics, supply chain management, information technology, and human factors.

Many of the courses in this online program explore the creation of products and services in a way that is cost-effective and innovative. Students will be able to acquire essential skills in innovation in business, production-oriented operations management, and design production, among others.


Additional Resources:


Overview

The online Master’s in Product Management is often a specialization under the operations management degree programs. Since the success and growth of a business often depend on the efficiency of its operations, pursuing a product and operations management degree program is an ideal choice!

Most graduates of this online degree from some of the best business schools in the country get to work in various industries, including government agencies, corporations, non-government organizations, and even in international business settings as operations research analysts, operations specialists, project managers, and more.

Methodology

Regardless of which industry they belong to, businesses have to keep constantly on top of their efficiency and their overall product strategies in order to keep their competitive edge in the market. These key areas require specialized professionals equipped with a business management perspective and the right set of technical skills, and those looking to enter this in-demand field would do well to get the best educational preparation they can.

Let’s help you make that choice! We’ve put together graduate schools that offer a Master’s in Product Management. Each Operations Management master’s degree program was selected based on the following characteristics:

Read our Methodology for more details.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Best Online Master’s in Product Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Product Management Programs

University of Maryland

University of Maryland - A. James Clark School of Engineering

College Park, MD

Master of Professional Studies in Product Management

The University of Maryland is a leading research university in Washington D.C. It is home to more than 40,700 students and 14,000 faculty and staff. The university offers at least 100 undergraduate majors, 115 master’s programs, and 84 doctoral programs across 12 schools and colleges. In the last five years, 54 students and scholars accepted Fulbright grants.

Standout Features:

The program utilizes an innovative curriculum in a dynamic online platform. The learning management system being used leverages best-in-class software with design and usability at its core. This means students will be able to enjoy high-definition lecture videos, real-time video conference opportunities, and a comprehensive management system.

Did You Know?

As a preeminent research university, the University of Maryland Global Campus has a combined research expenditure of $1.1 billion in 2021. The National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey put the University of Maryland in 16th place. It also ranked number 10 for patents awarded in 2021 among U.S. public institutions.


Capitol Technology University

Capitol Technology University

Laurel, MD

MS in Product Management

Founded in 1927, Capitol Technology University remained committed to its vision of preparing students for in-demand careers. At the heart of its academic programs lie practical learning that enables students to gain knowledge and leadership skills integral to an ever-evolving world of technology. The university places laser focus on STEM careers, providing its students with hands-on, real-world experience and online education to make it in today’s tech job market.

Standout Features:

The program was designed to meet the current demand of the business landscape. Students can expect classes across various aspects of the product and operations management field, including online classes in product management, market research, leadership, marketing, project management, and many more. They will also tend to focus on emerging trends, new technologies, and changing customer demands.

Did You Know?

Capitol Technology University’s experience is deeply ingrained with the culture of innovation, whether it is the student-made video game console or the right centers of excellence and labs. On top of that, students are given ample opportunities to fund their college education. In fact, around 80% of students receive some form of financial aid. High-need students can qualify for institutional grant funds amounting to $12,000.


Merrimack College

Merrimack College

North Andover, MA

Master of Science in Product Management

Merrimack College is a private university located in the town of North Andover, Massachusetts. It was founded by the Order of St. Augustine of the Catholic church in 1974, which was looking to provide education to returning World War II veterans. Merrimack College currently has over 5,400 students enrolled in both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Standout Features:

Merrimack College has consistently earned accolades and top ranks for the value and innovation of its programs. This degree program in particular is designed to align with the needs of various industries, and its comprehensive curriculum also emphasizes experiential and hands-on learning.

Did You Know?

Merrimack College is the second college in the country to be affiliated with the Augustinian order after Villanova University, which was established in 1842.


Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

Master of Science in Product Development

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private research university located in the town of Henrietta, part of the greater metropolitan area of Rochester. It was the result of an 1891 merger of the Rochester Athenaeum   (established 1829) and The Mechanics Institute (established 1885). The institute gained its current name and its research university designation in 1994. At present, RIT has a population of over 19,000 students, and is classified among R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity”.

Standout Features:

This is a STEM-designated program and features a design that is orientated towards a wide set of industries, including the Life Sciences, Defense, Electronics, Health Care, and Aerospace Industries. The program also features elective courses in Lean Six Sigma, Managing Research & Innovation, International Project Management, Customer Centricity, and more.

Did You Know?

Rochester Institute of Technology also offers a Master of Science in Manufacturing Leadership, a related degree program that is orientated toward careers in operations management, supply chain management, and process improvement.


Regis College

Regis College

Weston, MA

Master of Science in Product Management

Regis College is a private university in the town of Weston, Massachusetts. It was founded by the Catholic religious congregation Sisters of St. Joseph in 1927. Throughout the 8 decades since its founding, it operated as a women-only college and only offered its first co-educational classes in 2007. Regis College is composed of four schools and currently has a population of over 3,200 students.

Standout Features:

The program’s curriculum complements training in core technical skills with an emphasis on anchoring business practices on ethics and sustainability, as well as overall people-first leadership. Regis University also consistently makes the regional and national ranks for the value and quality of its degree programs.

Did You Know?

Students who may be inclined to test the waters first may also be interested in Regis College’s Introduction to Product Management Certificate, which can be fully applied later on to the full Master of Science degree. Regis University is also set to roll out a number of other in-depth product management certificate programs by Fall 2024.

Importance of Product Management in the Modern World

In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of product management cannot be emphasized enough. Serving as the cornerstone of a business organization, product management ensures there is a seamless flow between the product and the customer. It is responsible for ensuring that the right products are developed and delivered in a way that meets the needs of customers and drives businesses to success.

In product management, the entire product cycle is ensured to succeed, from ideation to launch. Production managers are tasked to supervise people, materials, and equipment. They are responsible for making decisions in key areas such as production planning, product planning, process improvement, production control, and even equipment maintenance.

Here are some of the many reasons why product management is important.

Strategic Product Launching

Product managers make the process of the entire product launch easier and more efficient. Through product management, the products to be built are determined along with the release date. Product managers ensure that new products and innovations are brought to the marketplace at the right time.

Competitive Advantage

Since there is efficiency in the product creation and launch process, businesses are able to deliver quality goods and services. There are techniques used to help in the development of new products and aid in the innovation of existing products. It also means less time devoted to the manufacturing systems and production processes with a seamless and efficient process in place. This frees up more time and human resources that can be allocated to other areas of the business operation.

Better Utilization of Capital and Resources

With a good product management strategy in place, businesses are able to utilize resources such as the workforce, equipment, and raw materials in the best way possible. It can minimize costs while maximizing profits. This can then help organizations achieve higher returns at lower costs.

Enhancement of Brand Image

Brand identity is essential in an ever-competitive business environment. While marketing can do the trick, a good product can win the hearts of customers and inspire loyalty. Producing high-quality products injects confidence in the bands, which can have a positive effect on the brand image and reputation.

Reduction of Risks and Failure

Production management and other business processes involve conducting market research and gathering information surrounding market trends, business goals, and human behavior to gain customer insights. This enables a business organization to plan and design products in a way that minimizes failure. It ensures that the products are of high quality and can meet the needs of the target market.

Commonly Applicable Areas/Industries for Master’s in Production Management Graduates

Master’s in Production Management online programs are typically designed to welcome a wide range of academic backgrounds. Meanwhile, there are a certain number of industries that come to the fore in terms of where many graduates continue their careers. These are often industries and areas that have a significant manufacturing/production component, which often requires expertise in specific areas such as logistics management, inventory control, resource allocation, and more. Some of these industries include the following:

Manufacturing

Manufacturing isn’t a single industry per se but includes a wide range of industries that share common processes and logistical needs.

Automotive

The automotive industry is one of the world’s major manufacturing-centered industries, whether in terms of traditional internal combustion engine-based transport or emerging/alternative transportation options such as electric vehicles.

Defense & Aerospace 

The aerospace and defense industries share a degree of overlap (some of the country’s major aerospace players also have a presence in the defense industry), and these two industries typically have high standards and timetables that need to be maintained.

Electronics, Computer Hardware

This area is most typically associated with the huge consumer electronics industry, which caters to both home and business applications.

Life Sciences

This area most prominently includes the pharmaceutical industry.

Typical Career Paths That Graduates of Production Management and Operations Management Master’s Degree Programs

Graduates of Master’s in Production Management programs often go on to occupy positions that directly oversee various aspects of production and logistics operations, including service operations, quality management, logistics management, business administration, human resource management, and project planning, among others.

Supply Chain Managers

Responsible for the efficient workflow processes when it comes to the transformation of raw materials into final products and streamlining the process in the supply aspects, a supply chain manager directs the supply chain to help cut excess costs and deliver products to customers faster.

Operations Managers

An operations manager is tasked to implement the right business processes across the organization. They are often involved in the development of strategies, improvement of performance, and material and resource procurement.

Project Managers

A project manager needs to oversee the organization, planning, and execution of projects within budget and schedule. They often lead project teams to achieve project goals and see through the product launch and beyond.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Master’s in Production Management encompass?

An essential part of operations management, production management has to do with controlling the various functions of product creation and project delivery, all within budget. This means overseeing the workforce for the production along with the equipment to be used, raw materials needed, and workflows that will guide the whole operation process.

The graduate students earning the master’s in product management program will be exploring the process of optimizing the production of goods, focusing on capacity, resources, quality, and time. They will touch on the design of the product or goods as well as equipment inventory and performance monitoring. Some of the courses involved in the program curriculum often include production planning, managing development and operations, financing the product lifecycle, fundamentals of product management, market development and commercialization, inventory management, enterprise resource planning, and quality control, among others.

Most master’s programs in production management prepare students for leadership roles in the field, in a way that will help them attain career growth and boost their earning potential.

What are the most common admission requirements to a master’s in product management program?

Generally, most online graduate business programs require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution. Some universities may also require them to submit GRE or GMAT scores and meet a minimum GPA. Other common admission requirements are recommendation letters, official transcripts, personal statements, and updated resumes.

International students often need to demonstrate their mastery of the English language by taking the TOEFL exam.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s in Product Management degree program?

Most master’s degree programs in product management, just like the master’s in operations management degree programs can be completed within two years. This is influenced by a variety of factors, however. The mode of enrollment, whether part-time or full-time, is one of them. The rigorous curriculum is another matter. Some master’s programs require the successful completion of a capstone course, which can usually take time.

Does a Master’s in Production Management require a specific academic background to be admitted?

Not necessarily. Master’s in Production Management programs are designed to be applicable to numerous industries, and as such, most programs do not impose a certain strict set of academic background requirements.

The business world, especially in highly competitive industries, will always require specialized professionals who oversee various aspects of their products, from the product development phase, right up to the implementation.

Master’s in Production Management programs cover a range of technical skills involved in a business’ product management needs, which are then built on a foundation of business-related skills such as strategic management and other crucial soft skills such as communication.

Master’s in Production Management programs are typically designed to be applicable to a multitude of industries, and as such typically don’t require students to have a specific bachelor’s degree or come from a narrow set of academic backgrounds.

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