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Product manager drafting ideas on a white board while wearing a mask in the office

How to Become a Product Manager

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Business, Operations & HR

At a company, a product manager is the CEO of a product. They understand the product better than anyone else. Are you up for that task? 

What is Product Management

A woman writing notes while another person speaks to her while they are planning a product.
Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Product managers build product strategy, roadmaps, and features for a new product. They work with the product team members to do so. But, they also work with the sales, marketing, and engineering teams while in the development process to ensure the customer will have an overall good experience with a product.  

Product management is crucial for the innovation and growth of a business. Product managers typically work in technology companies that focus on products for internal and external customers. Typically, there is a higher demand for product managers in startups. 

What to do in College to Work in Product Manager Jobs

A woman presenting to another individual on a product plan.
Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

In order to be a product manager, it requires a bachelor’s degree in business. Usually, there is no specification on which major, but a product manager will want to have a good understanding of business basics like business goals and business models, operation management, and finance. 

While graduate education is not necessary, it is a great tool to grow in product management. The career path allows for a lot of growth. Getting a master’s of business administration is a step in the right direction to become a senior product manager.

Along with a bachelor’s degree in business, a college student should have internship experience in product management. There are many great programs for future product managers, with companies such as Atlassian.

Skills and Qualities of Product Managers

Two individuals working on planning out a product with sticky notes.
Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

If you are interested in working in a product manager role, you should understand and possess these skills and qualities. And, do not forget to highlight them on your resume, cover letters, and in interviews!

  • Entrepreneurial drive
  • Work across the development team
  • Ability to see a full product vision
  • Decision-making skills
  • Curiosity
  • Highly motivated
  • Prioritization of product requirements and product features
  • Technical knowledge on product development 
  • Understand a companies stakeholders 
  • Read and interpret metrics
  • Deep understanding the lifecycle of products and the overall industry trends
  • Adaptability to customer needs and customer feedback
  • Knowledge of the Software as a Service, or SaaS, model.
  • Know the Scrum framework and how to apply it

Working in Product Management Jobs

Woman pointing to an idea on a computer screen.
Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Careers in product management are said to be both well-paying and rewarding. The experience range is large so recent college grads can begin on this career path. But, a great product manager has to be up for the challenge because it is a high-profile job. 

Two experts in the field, Ben Horowitz and David Weiden said, “Good product managers take full responsibility and measure themselves in terms of the success of the product.”

For more information on entry-level business careers and more, read more on the Scholars blog and tune into The Internship Show!

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