How to Become a Product Manager

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Speak to five different product managers and you’ll hear five different stories about how they “broke into” this highly in-demand tech role. This is one of the tricky things about product management, but also where the opportunity lies: the path to becoming a product manager is not as straightforward as it is for many other roles.

In this guide, we’re not only going to clarify how to become a product manager, but also look closely at:

  • The skills, knowledge, and attributes needed to succeed as a product manager
  • Globally recognized certifications
  • Top product management programs
  • Common career paths within product management
  • The work environment
  • Salary expectations

While a product manager is generally seen as a “jack-of-all-trades,” they do have key roles and responsibilities they must fulfill.

Product managers work with multidisciplinary teams to define and build digital products (websites, mobile applications, APIs, etc.) that provide value for their customers and users and assist their business with reaching its goals. This is why business strategy is a vital skill for product managers, because everything they do needs to connect to a company’s bottom line.

The product manager’s day-to-day work centres around three key responsibilities:

  • Remaining customer focused
  • Making data-driven decisions
  • Managing key stakeholders

It’s these three activities that enable product managers to effectively perform their job. With these, they can understand their customers’ needs, define and launch impactful digital solutions, and make product improvements after a product launches to achieve desired customer and business goals.