Product Owners


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Recommended high school classes include computer science (especially software development), mathematics, science, business, social studies, psychology, philosophy, English, speech, and foreign language.

Postsecondary Education

Many product owners have bachelor’s degrees in software development or other information technology fields, business, finance, or engineering and then augment this training with Scrum classes and certifications.

Some colleges and universities offer master’s degrees in Agile project management (which include classes on Scrum and other Agile frameworks). For example, American University in Washington, D.C., offers an online master’s degree in Agile project management. Some of the classes in this program include Adaptive Project Management Principles, Agile Solutions and Risk Assessment, Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Data-Driven Decision Making, Client Communications and Professional Consulting, and Teams and Virtual Teams. Visit for more information. Contact schools in your area to learn about available programs.


Certificate programs in Agile, project management, and related fields are offered by colleges and universities. For example, Northeastern University and the University of California at Irvine offer certificates in Agile project management, Georgetown University offers a certificate in Lean and Agile Practices, and Villanova University awards a certificate in Agile. Contact these schools to learn more.

Other Education or Training

Professional associations, colleges and universities, and other providers offer a variety of continuing education (CE) classes and webinars. For example, the Agile Alliance offers webcasts, educational sessions at its annual conference, and other CE opportunities. Other organizations to check out include ICAgile, Project Management Institute, and Women in Agile.

Online learning platforms such as Udemy ( offer a variety of classes on Agile, Scrum, and the career of product owner—some of which are geared toward helping students prepare for certification examinations. Recent classes included Robust Scrum Product Owner; User Stories for Agile Scrum+Product Owner+Business Analysis; and User Stories for Agile Scrum+Product Owner+Business Analysis.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Voluntary certification is available from several organizations. For example, the Scrum Alliance offers the certified Scrum product owner, advanced certified Scrum product owner, and certified Scrum professional-product owner credentials to applicants who complete educational and other requirements. Additional credentials are provided by the Project Management Institute,, International Institute of Business Analysts, and other organizations. Most programs require applicants to have several years of experience and pass an examination.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Product owners should have several years of experience as an Agile coach, Scrum master, or software development project manager or experience in another occupation that involves project management.

Product owners need a variety of skills to be successful in their work. Because they lead the development process, they must have excellent managerial, organizational, time-management, and leadership skills. They also must be top-notch communicators who are able to effectively interact with customers, other shareholders, executives, and members of the Scrum team (including the Scrum master). Other important traits include adaptability and a willingness to evolve one’s thinking based on feedback from the team, creativity, a positive personality, and a willingness to continue to learn throughout your career.