Product Manager

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What Is a Product Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Product managers oversee product development, the process of launching a new product to market or improving an existing one, from ideation to release. Here’s what to know about a product manager’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.

 

What Is a Product Manager?

Product managers lead all aspects of product development and implement strategic product decisions. They work to bring cross-functional teams together on the vision of a product and prioritize development based on customer needs.

 

What Do Product Managers Do?

Product managers guide product strategy, outline product roadmaps and direct efforts toward making the final product a good experience for end users.

Product Manager Responsibilities

  • Define a product vision and design a product roadmap.
  • Study the marketplace and create competitive development strategies.
  • Recognize user needs and prioritize needs implementation.
  • Establish product goals and objectives to meet needs during development.
  • Align and manage teams involved in product development.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Product Managers

  • Use roadmapping tools to prepare and document product release strategies.
  • Use product management tools to detail and track progress of product features.
  • Collaborate with marketing specialists to shape user personas and product messaging.
  • Review key performance indicators (KPIs) with team members and stakeholders.

Product Managers Within a Company

Product managers are usually part of a product team within a company. They may collaborate with product analysts, product designers, company executives and similar roles to do their jobs. They also tend to report to senior product managers or the director of product management.

Importance of Product Managers

Product managers orchestrate essential operations of successful product development. They are a big reason why certain product features — like a chat feature in an app, or theme customization for a site — get prioritized and launched to certain specifications.

What do I do as a Product Manager? | Video: Chloe Shih

 

What Skills Are Needed to Be a Product Manager?

Qualifications to Be a Product Manager

  • Two or more years of experience in product development, project management or similar roles.
  • Ability to initiate and execute product development strategies.
  • Ability to conduct market research and understand market trends.
  • Proficiency in creating product vision and leading cross-team collaboration.

Product Manager Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, psychology or a similar field.

Product Manager Hard Skills

  • Experience with product management and product development life cycles.
  • Expertise in market research tools and techniques.
  • Knowledge of product strategy development and roadmapping tools.
  • Familiarity with economics principles and workplace applications.

Product Manager Soft Skills

  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Project management best practices.
  • Empathy for end users.
  • Verbal and written communication skills.

Tools and Programs Product Managers Use

  • Asana
  • Craft.io
  • Jira 
  • Monday.com
  • Pendo
  • ProdPad
  • Productboard 
  • ProductPlan 
  • Tara
  • Trello 

 

How to Become a Product Manager

Product Manager Education and Experience

Product managers candidates are often expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in business, economics or a similar field. Some may also earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), product management or a similar field.

Product managers will need to obtain two or more years of experience in product management, product development or similar roles. Knowledge in the areas of market research, product roadmapping, product strategy development, economics, project management and effective communication are also recommended.

Product Manager Certificates and Courses

Product Manager Career Path

Product managers may start as product analysts, project managers or business development specialists before stepping into product management. From this point, product managers can progress into a senior product manager role. Finally, professionals may move into a director of product management, vice president of product or chief product officer role.

 

Product Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Product managers, sorted similarly with marketing managers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will see jobs grow 10 percent by 2031.

The full compensation package for a product manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average product manager salary.

Courses

Expand Your Product Manager Career Opportunities

Enhance your professional portfolio by completing Udemy’s online product management courses.

Udemy

Topic:

From Beginner to Modern Product Manager with Just One Course!

 

What you'll learn:

  • Build any digital product from end to end

  • Create a culture…

4.6
(727)
Udemy

Topic:

Create new, or improve existing, products or services for your business.

 

What you'll learn:

  • The five keys to product or service development.

4.6
(40)
Udemy

Topic:

The complete Product Development & Systems Engineering course! Earn 25 contact hours AND prepare to take the INCOSE Exam

 

What you'll learn:

  • How to develop…

4.5
(991)
Udemy

Topic:

The only course that focuses 100% on data for product managers.

 

What you'll learn:

  • Product Management

  • Data analytics

4.0
(118)
Certifications

Product Manager Certifications + Programs

Increase your qualifications for your next position with Udacity’s online product management certifications.

General Assembly’s Product Management course teaches the end-to-end product management (PM) process to a real-world scenario, from evaluating users and managing a roadmap to creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and developing metrics.

 

What you'll accomplish

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although students may have had exposure to product development concepts or be informally taking on PM responsibilities in their current role. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Determine key risks and assumptions of a product in order to prioritize research and discovery work.
  • Validate hypotheses by gathering user feedback via MVPs, interviews, experiments, and testing.
  • Execute competitive research to highlight market gaps and trends.
  • Speak fluently with developers, user experience designers, and other business stakeholders about priorities, requirements, and workflow.
  • Apply metrics alongside objectives and key results (OKRs) to measure a product’s success and track its life cycle.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to create a portfolio project: a presentation detailing your product creation strategy.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation. General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

 

Udacity
Beginner
4 months
10 hours

General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive is a transformative course designed for you to get the necessary skills for a UX Design role in three months. 

The User Experience Design bootcamp is led by instructors who are expert practitioners in their field, supported by career coaches that work with you since day one and enhanced by a career services team that is constantly in talks with employers about their UX Design hiring needs.

 

What you'll accomplish

As a graduate, you’ll have a portfolio of projects that show your creative and technical ability to launch the next generation of successful apps, websites and digital experiences. Throughout this program, you will:

  • Identify and implement the most effective methods of user research to gain a deeper understanding of what users want and need.

  • Use interaction and visual design techniques to craft a dynamic digital product that brings delight and function to users.

  • Conduct usability testing to make product experiences more accessible for diverse user populations and environments.

  • Learn best practices for working within a product team, employing product management techniques and evaluating technical constraints to better collaborate with developers.

  • Produce polished design documentation, including wireframes and prototypes, to articulate design decisions to clients and stakeholders.

  • Prepare for the world of work, compiling a professional-grade portfolio of solo, group, and client projects.

 

Prerequisites

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although many students are familiar with common tools for graphic and web designers and some may have had exposure to UX concepts in the past. The General Assembly curriculum helps you gain fluency in end-to-end UX processes, tools, and documentation and put them to work on the path to a new career as a User Experience Designer.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation.  General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

Udacity
Beginner
4 months
10 hours

Product Managers are responsible for designing and delivering a profitable product or feature into the market. In this program, you will learn to define product strategy and KPIs based on market analysis, pitch a product vision to get stakeholder buy-in, and design a user-centered prototype that adheres to engineering constraints. Then, you will develop an execution timeline that handles competing priorities, communicate a product roadmap that builds consensus amongst internal stakeholders, and create a comprehensive go-to-market plan based on product KPIs. Finally, you will build tests to enhance product features based on market data.

Udacity
Beginner
4 months
10 hours
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