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How to Become a Product Manager

As a product manager, you’ll help with product marketing, as well as planning. You will have to be able to identify products that have potential, conduct research for those potential products, produce timetables, and help with marketing strategies. 

Companies are looking for someone with a creative mindset, so you’ll need to come up with and generate new product ideas. This job is an exciting position because you’ll be able to help with the release process of new items and help coordinate activities to bring the product to the market. A bachelor’s degree is required for this job, either in business or some other related field. To have a better understanding of this job and some of the duties, you should have taken classes such as marketing, communications, economics, and statistics.

Sample job description

A product manager oversees the planning, development, marketing, and management of a product. They work closely with clients to understand needs and requirements and create strategies to meet those needs. Product managers should have a good understanding of product and marketing strategies, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and strong problem-solving skills. [Your Company Name] is seeking an experienced product manager to take our company to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have experience defining and developing product strategies and in-depth knowledge of the product development lifecycle. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Determine customers’ needs and desires for a product or product line
  • Recommend the nature and scope of present and future product lines to customers
  • Articulate the business value to the product team, so they understand the intent for a new product or product release 
  • Define the release process and coordinate the activities needed to bring the product to market 
  • Identify potential products
  • Conduct product research
  • Produce production timelines
  • Develop marketing strategies
  • Generate and develop new product ideas 
  • Ensure product planning and development integrates customer feedback and requests 
  • Communicate ideas to customers, partners, and internal team members 
  • Work closely with engineers on technical specifications 

Education and experience

  • This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, preferably with classes in marketing, communications, economics, advertising, and statistics. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others
  • Outstanding math and analytical skills
  • Solid decision-making skills
  • Expertise in negotiating
  • Keen attention to detail 
  • Ability to delegate tasks to a team
  • Proficiency in research and analysis 

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Exceptional project management skills
  • Solid attention to detail
  • Strong ability to multitask
  • Good collaboration and interpersonal abilities
  • Customer focused

Typical work environment

Product managers typically work in an office during regular business hours, although they may work overtime on occasion to meet deadlines. They work on their computers and attend meetings with clients and internal stakeholders. Some product managers may be required to travel to meet with clients.

Typical hours

Product managers usually work regular office hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in an office setting.

Available certifications

Product managers work in a wide variety of industries, and many institutions offer certifications to help them advance their careers. Here are two of the best certifications for accounts payable clerks: 

Certified Product Manager (CPM). The Certified Product Manager credential demonstrates your in-depth understanding of the processes involved to develop new products from the beginning of the product life cycle to product launch. The course includes building case studies, writing business plans, market planning, competitive analysis, product specifications, and more. The course and the exam are available online or in person in a classroom setting. 

One Week PM. One Week PM is a 7-day course that teaches you the essentials of product management. You will learn the fundamental roles, practical skills, and methodologies of being a product manager. This includes conducting user research and interviews, defining product specs, developing product timelines, and developing marketing techniques for product management. This course has no prerequisites. 

Career path

The path to becoming a product manager starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, preferably with classes in marketing, communications, economics, advertising, and statistics. Most employers provide on-the-job training to help an individual become familiar with a product’s features. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-2021

2020 Employment293,700
Projected Employment in 2030323,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 10% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift29,400 increase

One major trend changing the product management field is product managers are playing a more significant role. They no longer simply oversee product development or organize team tasks; they now play a role in product strategy and overall customer experience. Product managers are increasingly seen as leaders within their companies.