Product managers are also known as product CEOs.
They deal with communicating the vision of the highest-level executives to the development teams.
They have to take into account multiple factors to determine the direction of the project to develop.
To do this job, one needs a specific set of skills and personal traits.
According to the BLS, the employment rate for product managers is supposed to grow by 9% by 2024.
This is as fast as the employment growth for other occupations in the US.
The production manager job is sought-after with a range of opportunities and career advancements in the company.
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What Does a Product Manager Do
Additionally to working as a means of communication, product managers also have to increase the profitability of current products and coordinate the production of the new ones.
They develop ideas for the previously signed contracts, guide older ideas in a more profitable direction, and pitch the products.
Product managers play a strategic role in a company rather than tactical.
Therefore, product managers are typically supported by the organization instead of the product managers themselves assisting other employees.
Regardless of the specialty of the position (marketing manager, product development manager, etc.), the job is complex with a wide range of responsibilities.
Additionally, to be successful in this position, one needs a certain set of skills and personal qualities.
- Launch new products to the market in accordance with customers’ requirements.
- Gather market information and evaluate the competition.
- Review, evaluate, and analyze the requirements and specifications of products.
- Update on the nature and scope of existing and future product lines.
- Compare the products of the organization with the competitors.
- Provide source data.
- Ensure communication in the development line.
- Define the marketing objectives of products.
- Obtain product market shares.
- Put together forecasts on product sales for long- and short-term periods.
- Ensure the availability of products and inventory turnover.
Product managers perform a wide range of specialized tasks, so they need to possess specific qualities and skills without which it would be impossible to do the job.
It’s a difficult task to ensure proper communication between such positions as the content director, VP, quality control, and others from the beginning until the launch of the product.
Whether you work in the theater, food, IT, or another industry, you need the following skills to do the job right:
Product managers have to handle various problems that can arise daily and be able to find a solution quickly.
Written and verbal communication:
Product managers cooperate with different teams, so they need efficient communication skills.
Interpersonal and people management:
To lead and manage teams of employees, product managers need excellent interpersonal skills.
Monitoring, tracking, coordinating, and getting the tasks done requires outstanding time-management and organizational skills.
Motivational and self-motivational:
It’s essential that product managers can motivate people and stay motivated themselves.
Product managers need to set the right priorities and determine the end-goal of every product.
High level of stress tolerance:
This position involves multiple important responsibilities, so high levels of stress tolerance are mandatory.
Advanced knowledge of marketing and finance:
Product managers have to identify, analyze, and propose actions in the company, so they need an in-depth knowledge of marketing and financial field.
One of the major parts of the product manager job is networking and establishing contacts with future partners in the industry.
How to Become a Product Manager
Despite the industry of employment, the responsibilities of product managers are usually quite similar.
For example, the responsibilities of the theater assistant or junior film product manager are similar to the duties of the TV fashion product manager.
If you are looking for a more specialized field, you can search for a software product manager position.
Training and Qualifications
Product managers can have various educational backgrounds.
In most states, the minimal educational requirement includes a bachelor’s degree in business or a similar field.
O*NET reports that 56% of product managers have a Bachelor’s degree, and only 24% of all managers hold a Master’s Degree.
Holders of a Professional degree number only 11%.
Aspiring product managers can improve their chances of being hired by taking undergraduate courses in marketing, economics, communications, advertising, and statistics.
Besides, most managers receive some on-the-job training as well.
It helps them become familiar with the product features that they will promote.
Product managers are usually required to have at least some experience in the position.
Typically, it ranges between one and five years of documented experience.
Some employers may require proof of previous successful projects.
Experience can also influence the salary of a product manager.
As per PayScale, the average starting salary for a product manager is about $70,000
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, your salary can grow by more than $30,000.
The salary of a product manager can vary based on the product manager’s specialty.
PayScale reports that product managers in software development make around $90,000.
In other industries, though, the average salary is $77,000 per year.
The employment rate for product managers should increase by 9% through 2024.
This is slightly above the national average.
Constant inception and demise of business have an impact on this, as the new positions are constantly opening because of the market competition.
There are many career advancement opportunities for product managers, including promotions and changing positions.
For instance, some CEOs and founders started their careers as product managers.
Kevin Systrom of Instagram, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, and Sundar Pichai of Google all started off as product managers.
The job of a product manager is one of the most comprehensive out there with multiple career opportunities and a decent salary.
With a wide range of responsibilities and tasks, the job can get quite stressful.
However, it’s well worth it, as there are high chances of advancing to much higher positions.