Product Management Career Opportunities
What Does Someone Do in a Product Management Career?
Although product management can look different among positions due to the industry and employer, many of the roles and responsibilities are similar across the field.
As a product manager, some of the responsibilities that you are likely to fulfill are:
- Opportunity Identification
- Communication and Collaboration
- Operational Ability
- Data Analysis
- Strategic Planning
- Market Research
In addition to the responsibilities that project managers assume, the roles taken on in these positions are also similar. Some of the roles that project managers fulfill are:
- Defining the vision and strategic plan for the product
- Communicating and collaborating with all stakeholders
- Conducting market research and using competitive analysis
- Collecting and organizing data to inform decisions
- Acquiring feedback from stakeholders and applying it to the development process
- Applying soft skills to interactions with consumers
Level of Education for Product Management Career
Since the roles and responsibilities of a product manager can differ so widely across the different industries, there is not a blanket educational threshold for the position. However, many product management job opportunities will require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Typically, this includes a major in a business, technology, or engineering field. Your coursework should prepare you with a foundation in the products with which you will be working, as well as fundamental knowledge about economics and statistics.
Some jobs may require advanced degrees or additional certifications. In certain cases, a Master’s degree in engineering, computer science, or an MBA may be listed in the job description. The additional expertise and experience provided through these courses of study can be necessary for product management in certain industries. Even when higher degrees are not required, the potential employer may request a certain certification, such as a CSM, that indicates your training for leading and managing.
Regardless of the educational requirements, a strong product manager should always remain apprised of changes in the industry and new technology and advances that you will be competing against. Continuing education, even though attending a course or seminar, is essential for staying on top of the market and consumer needs.
Product Management Career Outlook
The opportunity for jobs and the salaries offered can vary depending on location, industry, and level of experience and responsibility. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median salary for advertising, promotions and marketing managers [https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm] is approximately $140,000 per year. The states offering the highest salaries are New York, New Jersey, and California.
While product managers can work anywhere in the country, the availability of a job in your industry could be impacted by location. California, Illinois, and New York are the states that offer the highest employment levels in the field, respectively.
Overall, the outlook for jobs in product management is very good. The rate of growth in the field is projected to be twice as high as the average for other occupations. Although the specific outlook will vary according to industry, this is very promising for those hoping to enter into a new career in project management.