Product Management as a discipline was born during the Great Depression when a 27-year-old marketer proposed the idea of a “brand man” – an employee that manages a specific product rather than a traditional business role. Since the 1930s, the continued success of this function has led to the growth of product organizations across industries and geographies. From the development of a product to positioning and pricing it in the market comes under the territory of a product manager. The role of a product manager can be part of a fulfilling, exciting, and challenging career, and is ideal for people who love creating new tools and experiences for all sorts of audiences. So what is product management, and what makes a product manager great? In this article, you’ll learn how to get started in a product management role, how a PM fits into different types of teams, and tips on how to determine if a career in product management is right for you.
This Blog Includes:
- Career as a Product Manager
- Types of Product Management Roles
- Skills Required
- Key Responsibilities of a Product Manager
- Educational Qualifications of a Product Manager
- Top Online Courses for Product Management
- Top Universities Abroad
- Salary of a Product Manager
- Top Recruiters
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Product Manager
Career as a Product Manager
Be it the tech industry or diversified manufacturing sector, Product Management plays a key role in generating better-designed and higher-performative products for society. To achieve the target of producing the best possible products, product managers advocate for customers within their organizations and make sure the voice of the market is heard and heeded. In today’s industrial revolution, there is more need than ever for an intimate understanding of customers and the ability to create tailored solutions for them. That’s where the crucial role of a Product Manager comes in.
Types of Product Management Roles
While the core functions of a PM are essentially the same across all types of product management roles and product teams, there are some nuances that align with different titles and role descriptions. You will encounter titles that define different levels of experience in product management, such as chief product officer, product owner, and associate product manager. Some common types of specialized product management roles you’ll see are:
Growth Product Manager
A growth product manager is primarily focused on furthering a specific metric their company has set to measure the growth of their business. Typically, growth PMs work closely with product marketing and traditional marketing teams in order to ensure their initiatives are expanding their product reach. Most growth product managers run frequent short-term experiments to measure the success of their new feature or project, and pivot to new initiatives quickly in order to meet the demands of the business. Everything from copy to pricing is on the table for testing, and they may help in defining go-to-market strategies. Growth product managers would benefit from experience or education in digital marketing, psychology, or advertising.
Technical Product Manager
A background in engineering or development is almost always required for technical product management roles, as this type of PM works hand in hand with engineering teams to improve things like a product’s core functionality or a company’s tech stack, security, or other parts of their digital infrastructure. These PMs are less focused on the appearance of a product and instead are dedicated to ensuring that its inner workings are solid. Often, technical product managers are career changers who started out as engineers.
Data Product Manager
If you love working with numbers or were a math wiz in school, then a data product management role could be a great fit. Working with business analytics teams and data scientists, data PMs create use cases that organizations use to measure success for their new product and feature releases. Often they are responsible for ensuring that customer interactions are tracked properly across the product interface so that other PMs or stakeholders can gain valuable insights into how users are navigating the product. A degree in mathematics, finance, or data science would be a great help to any aspiring data PM.
Product management is a career that fits many types of backgrounds and skill sets. There is no linear path to get into a PM role, and it is a great option for those who are interested in technology but are not sure how to apply their past experience to a role in tech. Here are just some of the skills and tips that can help you get into a PM role:
- Develop User Empathy: The most important skill to have as a PM is empathy for your user. Start to pay attention to the things that both delight and bother you about products that you use in your everyday life.
- Be a Problem Solver: Great product managers are, at their core, problem solvers, both for their users and their organization.
- Become Hyper Organized: Understand why you think something is more important than something else, and stick to it. A good sense of prioritization can make or break a successful product launch.
- Show Leadership: Leadership is an important quality in a product manager, as you will be responsible for owning a product vision and collaborating with a team to get things done.
- Demonstrate your Interest: There are several certifications and on-demand courses which you can take that can help you level up your skills. Since Product Management is a relatively new career path, it is always good to keep up with the latest trends in the industry.
Explore: Luxury Brand Management
Key Responsibilities of a Product Manager
The day-to-day responsibilities of a product manager vary across different types of businesses. However, all product management roles entail certain universal tasks that are critical to furthering a product development lifecycle.
A primary focus of a PM is the end-user of their product. Therefore, much of a product manager’s time is spent conducting and analyzing both market research and user research, either in partnership with dedicated research teams or on their own, depending on the size of their organization.
Defines Roadmap, Product Requirement, and Success
After conducting research, PMs help defines the organization’s product roadmap, which essentially documents the workflow for when and how each feature or product will be released. Working with project management teams, each new product build will be broken up into various incremental steps that will be executed over a set period of time-based on available resourcing and are typically broken up by a quarter.
Tests and Launches
Once the development process is complete, PMs lead the testing of the new feature and often do so through setting up experiments and iterations. Sometimes large initiatives are broken up into smaller phases, such as a “beta” launch. PMs are responsible for measuring the success of each phase, and working with engineering to address any issues that arise during testing.
Analyzes and Presents Results
When a new feature is live and in front of real customers or users, the product manager is typically responsible for communicating the successes or shortfalls of the product to business leadership. They leverage several different analytics tools and reports to ensure that the product is meeting the expectations set at the research phase.
Educational Qualifications of a Product Manager
- The education level required to apply for product manager positions is a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.
- Product manager degrees should include coursework in communications, marketing, economics, public relations, statistics, advertising, and management.
- Companies that deal with larger product lines may require advanced degrees from their product managers.
- A product manager’s background may be based in another branch of education, such as agriculture or technology if he manages products for those types of industries.
Top Online Courses for Product Management
If you are a product manager, you might think that you’ve already learned everything to be a standout PM professional. However, there are so many chances for you to brush up on the old and master the new. Here are the few top product management online courses that will help you to succeed in 2021.
- Coursera’s Product Management Course
- Product Management: Building Great Products
- Product Management Course Bundle by PM Loop
- Product Management Certificate by Cornell University
- Product Management 101 by Todd Birzer
- Management Certification by Boston University
Also Read: Top Management Courses
Top Universities Abroad
Students who are interested in learning product marketing, form products whether physically or virtually, have the ability to think out of the box, or handle product portfolios should aim for these universities abroad for the best Product Marketing courses.
|1||University of Liverpool – Management School||UK|
|2||Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) – Tepper School of Business||USA|
|4||Poznan University of Economics||Poland|
|5||New York University: MBA with Product Management Specialization||USA|
|6||University of Wisconsin: MBA with Specialization in Brand and Product Management||USA|
|7||The Institute of Product Leadership: Executive MBA in Product Leadership||India|
|8||University of Oulu||Finland|
|9||University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria||Austria|
|10||The University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business||USA|
Salary of a Product Manager
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Product Manager is $108,992 (₹81,04,265) in the United States.
Product managers live at the intersection of technology and business leaders and play a critical role in ensuring that new features are a success for both their organization and their customers. For those with a passion for teamwork, strategic thinking, and creating awesome experiences for people, product management could be an extremely rewarding career choice. Here are a few top recruiters for Product Managers around the globe.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Product Manager
|Power of strengthening collaboration between internal teams.
Robust product knowledge.
Expert in aligning market needs and demands.Instrumental at minimizing the risk of product failure.
Analyze data and feedback.
Accountability for multiple tasks.
Responsibility without much authority.
No clear definition of the role in many instances.
Similar to the sides of a coin, the product manager’s role also comes with pros and cons. Before making the career choice, you need to thoroughly assess your reasons and interests to look for a PM role. If you wish to make a career as a product manager, connect with our experts at Leverage Edu to get a detailed understanding of the entire profession, along with the best suitable course and colleges for you.