What Does A Product Manager Do? JD, Salary & How To Become

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Product managers are a unique breed of computer experts who concentrate on the idea behind a good or service. Together with cross-functional teams, they define and carry out the product’s success, setting the strategy and plan.

Product Manager

Want to pursue this career? Keep on reading to learn more about product manager responsibilities, salary, and required qualifications!

Why Businesses Need A Product Manager

In many businesses, the Product Manager (PM) job is crucial and critical. They define what success means for a product, build a product team to make that vision a reality, and pinpoint the consumer demand and overarching company goals that a feature or product will satisfy. They have extremely dynamic roles since each product is unique.

The product manager role is essential when it comes to introducing new goods and customer experience. They act as the link between engineering teams, business executives, and UX teams, keeping the same product vision amongst these groups intact.

Above all, product managers specify what constitutes a successful product for each, lay out the product strategy, and show how the product will affect the client and the company’s objectives. Development teams would find it challenging to negotiate the many interests that exist in both large and small businesses without the voice of the product manager.

Product development and research may be a part of product management for one firm. Relaunching and repositioning an outdated product might be the case for others. Delivering quality throughout a product’s lifespan is what product management aims to do.

What Does A Product Manager Do?

Product managers are in charge of organizing all the procedures required to get a product ready and also put it onto the market, as well as setting priorities for a product’s life cycle and release schedule.

The organization’s size affects the specific duties assigned to each member. For example, product managers are integrated into specialized teams in bigger businesses.

Product managers define features for development projects in collaboration with the Associate Product Managers team, making sure that the product features meet user needs and budgetary restrictions. In order to set expectations and avoid unpleasant shocks when new upgrades are released every few months, they utilize demographic data concerning user preferences or experience to anticipate how long these jobs will take to complete.

Marketers, analysts, and researchers assist in gathering product ideas, and developers and designers oversee daily operations, create designs, test prototypes, and identify faults. With greater support, these product managers also devote more of their time to uniting these stakeholders under a common goal.

Product Manager Job Descriptions

Product managers monitor industry and customer behaviors and trends that impact the brand or business, either directly or indirectly. Here are the core responsibilities required.

Product Manager Responsibilities
  • Become well-versed in consumer experience, spot and address product gaps, and come up with fresh concepts that expand market share, enhance customer satisfaction, and spur expansion
  • Win over important external partners and internal stakeholders to the product vision
  • Create positioning and price strategies for your products
  • Produce comprehensive specifications and prototypes based on the product strategy
  • Organize tasks according to their influence on the business and the client
  • Maintain tight collaboration with technical teams to produce with optimal resources and a short time-to-market
  • Drive product releases by collaborating with executives, the public relations department, and other members of the product management team
  • Examine advertising strategies to make sure the message is delivered clearly and that the plans are in accordance with the product line strategy
  • Become an advocate for the product to increase knowledge and comprehension
  • Visit clients to get input on the company’s goods and services as a representative of the business

Product Manager Skills & Requirements

You need a good sense of market trends and an innate understanding of what would improve a service or product or make it more appropriate for a certain consumer base. Below are the crucial hard and soft skills you need to position yourself for success.

  • Demonstrable experience working in product management
  • Shown aptitude for creating marketing and product strategies and effectively
  • Ability to present ideas to upper management
  • Solid technical foundation
  • Proficient in software development and web technologies
  • Strong problem-solving skills and a readiness to put in extra effort to complete the task
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication abilities; adept at collaborating with cross-functional teams in matrix organizations
  • An MS or BS in computer science, engineering, or a related field is preferred

Average Product Manager Salary

According to Glassdoor, the typical yearly compensation for product managers varies depending on the area and city, from around $120,000 to $204,000 a year in the United States. That being said, this position’s pay varies significantly based on region, sector, experience level, and particular organization.

However, seasoned product managers in profitable sectors or at elite tech firms can make much more than this, occasionally even hitting the six- or even seven-figure mark, particularly once stock options and bonuses are taken into account. Global wage disparities may also exist, as market demand and living expenses have an impact on pay packages.

How To Be A Product Manager

Product managers often have a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. If you want to become one, here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Get A Degree Or Certification

A bachelor’s degree in finance, marketing, business, or a similar discipline is usually required. Although it’s not necessary, companies sometimes view this as a prerequisite for schooling.

Besides, you may make a significant improvement to your path by looking into options such as being certified in product management or earning a certification from respectable companies. This way, you will get organized learning opportunities, which can certify your abilities and expertise in the industry while improving your employability by fusing theory and practice.

Step 2: Gain Necessary Knowledge And Core Skills

Establish a strong foundation in design, technology, and business. This can be done by going to school and earning a degree in computer science, business administration, or a similar discipline, as well as by getting real-world experience in positions involving some product management component.

Step 3: Create A Portfolio

You must not only acquire the essential product management abilities but also exhibit them to prospective employers. This may be accomplished by creating your own product management portfolio, which is a website showcasing projects in which you assumed the function of product manager (or, at the very least, adopted and displayed the mentality of a product manager).

Your projects should be turned into case studies, which you should post on your website to develop your product management portfolio. Your portfolio is another fantastic way to introduce yourself, highlight your background, and explain why you are an excellent product manager.

Step 4: Networking

Building a network is essential to a product manager’s career path. Networking is crucial for aspiring and new product managers. It is also a fantastic resource for product guidance, counsel, and market insights and may lead to new possibilities.

Use your network in a genuine and comfortable manner. Try to engage with your coworkers in product management at work by requesting a brief coffee or video call. I recommend you try to connect with other aspiring product managers enrolled in your course, attend in-person or virtual events or meet-ups, and join online communities.

Step 5: Start Applying For Jobs

Apply for product management jobs when you have the required experience, education, and connections. Create a CV and cover letter specific to the position and highlight your relevant experience and talents. This will help the interviewer see you as someone who can demonstrate your deep understanding of product management principles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Product Managers In High Demand?

Yes. There is a great need for product managers. They now play a more important role as businesses race to develop goods that satisfy ever-evolving client demands.

What Is The Dark Side Of Being A Product Manager?

Managing competing business goals, negotiating stakeholder requests, and taking accountability for both success and failure are common challenges faced by product managers. High levels of stress and difficult decision-making situations might result from striking a balance between user requirements, corporate objectives, and resource limitations.

Do Product Managers Need To Code?

Not always, although it’s advised in most situations. Technical expertise is useful, particularly in tech-related fields, but many PMs also possess excellent commercial acumen, market awareness, and leadership qualities.

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The Bottom Line

Knowing the duties and obligations of the role is crucial if you want to become a successful product manager. This is true whether you want to pursue a career in product management or are just starting out in this field. Reach out to me if you have any further questions about this career!

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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