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Product Manager

Nov. 1, 2017, 10:41 a.m.

If you want to become a product manager, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a product manager:
 
• You are able to reduce a complex project into manageable tasks and prioritize them
• You have an understanding of what makes a good user experience
• You have strong opinions about what makes great products
• You enjoy managing the work of people and delegating tasks
• You are able to balance the need for a high profit margin with high quality
• You have a results-oriented approach to work activities

 

Who is a Product Manager? 
 

Product managers are responsible for the management of new or existing products within an organization or business. These products can be built from existing ideas, or the product manager can help create new ideas.
 
The main goal of a product manager is to ensure that the product they oversee is profitable, of high quality, and delivers a great user experience. Product managers are also typically responsible for the guidance of the team that is charged with the improvement, or design and development of that product. 
 
Product managers may work in almost every sector of industry; they may oversee the development of products ranging from oilfield service equipment, to internet service packages. 

 

Education Needed to Become a Product Manager
 

There is no standard educational requirement for becoming a product manager, although many employers prefer you to have a related degree or post-secondary diploma in business or engineering. Employers in particular industries may require you to have completed specialized courses or have related experience.
 For example, employers that develop computer and internet products may require their product managers to have a degree in computer science or a closely related field.

 

Skills Needed to Become a Product Manager
 

In order to become effective in a career as a product manager, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills, including:
 
• You are able to reduce a complex project into manageable tasks and prioritize them
• You are able to reduce vast quantities of data into key business decision points
• You have an understanding of what makes a good user experience
• You have an understanding of the technology involved in creating the product
• You have a demonstrated ability to think strategically
• You are able to build trusting professional relationships with key stakeholders
• You understand how the product fits into the overall direction and vision of the organization
• You are able to balance the need for a high profit margin with high quality

 

Who Creates Jobs for Product Managers?
 

Product managers are typically employed on a full-time or consulting basis by small, medium and large organizations that create products or service packages. Such types of organizations may include:
 
• Management consulting firms
• Marketing firms and marketing consulting firms
• Information technology companies
• Telecommunications companies
• Software development companies
• Computer application and video game development companies
• Recreational, residential, industrial and commercial product development, manufacturing and distribution companies



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