How to Build a successful Product Management Career?

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Product Management Career

Product management can be a lucrative and engaging professional choice if you want to switch careers or add more skills to your capabilities. Product managers are critical in developing business technologies, software platforms, and innovative consumer products.

There has been an increasingly higher interest in the product management role in the US in the past five years. They are one of the most in-demand hires in organizations currently. As the demand for this role rises, there has never been a better time to break into the thriving industry. Businesses are relying on these coveted professionals to drive innovation across the company.

Product managers with relevant industry experience are rewarded with attractive salary packages. The average salary for a product manager in the United States is $1,17,000, and the same is Rs.17 lakhs if you plan to make a product management career in India.

Additionally, you don’t need any specialized degree to enter this industry. Professionals who have mastered skills like customer research, identifying market opportunities, product mapping, modeling, communication, and collaboration are ideal to be product managers.

If you are taking the first steps toward a lucrative career in product management, you can explore the Product Management tutorial designed for beginners. It equips you with the basic knowledge of this subject, the significant differences between product and project management, and how you can become an expert in this role.

Role of a Product Manager

So, what does a day in the life of a product manager look like? A product manager’s role varies significantly across different industries. They are the head of the product team and responsible for its development and overall strategy execution behind the product. 

Their activities involve gathering, prioritizing, and managing ideas for new products. They align the product’s features with user needs and broader business goals. They work closely with external stakeholders across departments, designers, engineers, and management leaders to guide the product to success.

They build a roadmap to outline the product vision, create an execution plan, and keep the team aligned toward a common goal. The nature of this role requires a set of specialized skills, and making your way to this position requires perseverance and intense dedication. 

Product Manager career path

Glassdoor has ranked the role of product manager at 10th position among a list of 50 best jobs in the United States of America. Product Managers dominantly come from software development backgrounds. However, also know that every product manager brings a unique set of skills and does not necessarily come from a particular field or discipline. 

Since every organization is different and the field is still developing, there is no universal pathway to becoming a product manager. However, the organizational hierarchy for a product manager usually follows the following roles:

  • Associate/ Junior Product Manager
  • Product Manager
  • CPOs/ VPs or Director
  • Other Senior Product roles

How to be a Product Manager?

Now, the only vital question that remains to be answered is how to become a product manager.

If you are starting from scratch, it is worth considering a product management certification in a field of your choice. The online courses are designed to give an overview of the structure and terminology that product managers deal with daily.

These courses also prepare you for the hiring process and enable you to enter the job market with confidence and credibility. Of course, you need relevant skills, but a professional certification from a reliable institution can help you land better jobs in this emerging field.

Critical skills required to be a successful Product Manager

Product management requires a diverse mix of hard and soft skills. A competent PM creates products with strong user adoption and is responsible for driving exponential revenue growth and perhaps even disrupting the industry. 

The top skills needed for product management are elaborated below:

1. Business acumen and strategic thinking

As a product manager, your core responsibility is leading the product development process at every stage. Therefore, you should be well versed with the business metrics and success KPIs, have an in-depth understanding of the company’s goals, and have the ability to think strategically. 

2. Swift problem-solving ability

A product manager encounters challenges like tackling user problems, internal product problems, operational issues, etc. Therefore, as a product manager, you should have a knack for problem-solving and coming up with creative ways to overcome constraints while optimizing the process.

3. Strong analytical and interpretation skills

As a PM, you must go through vast amounts of data and perform in-depth research. You should be skilled at analyzing and interpreting different kinds of data to understand the user’s needs and make crucial business decisions.

4. Excellent communication skills

Since product managers work across teams in various departments, having excellent communication skills is necessary. The best PMs can present their ideas confidently, effectively facilitate cross-team collaboration and communicate with empathy. You can only be a successful product manager with this skill.

5. Strong understanding of product UX and Development

A product manager should also be equipped with technical expertise, like understanding the digital aspects of the product, the technology to build the product, and ways to incorporate design thinking, principles, and processes.

Conclusion

Now you have a good idea of the product manager role and how you can build a successful product management career. It is a rewarding professional path from a personal and financial perspective with increasingly higher demand in times to come.

You can step into this domain by taking introductory courses or short tutorials in product management. It prepares you through the various tools and industry jargon you need to know while applying for the product manager job. Most product managers have diverse professional backgrounds, many working as developers, engineers, project managers, and business analysts.

Suppose you are passionate about building innovative products that impact your users, love problem-solving, and have excellent communication skills. In that case, you can be the right fit for a flourishing career in product management.

Learn what past customers are saying about their SImplilearn certification journeys and how it helped them steer their career upwards on Mouthshut.

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