Product management is one of the highly in-demand non-coding skills within the tech industry. This is because, as a result of the drive for innovation and sustainability of new products brought into the market, companies rely on the technical capacity of product managers to thrive in today’s market.
Interestingly, product management is a complex yet simple sport as it is both the art and science of guiding a product through its entire life cycle – from conception and planning to delivery, launch, and beyond. It is also about properly defining a vision and strategy for the product, with the goal of it meeting business objectives while making the end user happy. As a result of its structure, product management is a blend of business acumen, technology, data and user experience.
The average salary for a product manager per annum is $130,500 USD in the U.S., CAD$138,818 in Canada, £57,013 GBP in the UK and ₦3,052,094NGN in Nigeria, according to salary data estimates.
So, if you’re wondering how to become a product manager in 2023 and what it entails, then this article is for you as we produce answers to the frequently asked questions about the skills you need to be a product manager, and the resources needed to begin or advance your career in product management.
What skills do you need to become a product manager?
For you to become a product manager in 2023, you need to ascertain why you want to be a product manager, know various products, and hone a broad and diverse skill set – as it is a blend of hard and soft skills to become one. Product management does not require that much of a bachelor’s degree.
To be a product manager, here are the skills and tools that you need:
- general knowledge of the product design and development process;
- good business acumen and strategic thinking;
- have a knack for problem-solving and storytelling;
- a good knowledge of how to analyze and interpret data;
- a high level of interpersonal relationship;
- strong communication skills. this would help in presenting your ideas and thoughts clearly and concisely;
- know how to conduct good research. this would help you to understand your demographic and how your product can meet their needs;
- ability to prioritize certain ideas and items relating to your product;
- ability to properly troubleshoot multiple challenges;
Here are five steps to becoming a product manager
1. Build your background knowledge
You must immerse yourself in the knowledge of product management; this way, you’re getting a deeper understanding of the skill and also, laying the foundation for a more structured path towards launching or advancing your career as a product manager. This would also include getting certified in various courses on product management.
2. Start developing your skills in Product Management
After gaining knowledge of the concept of product management, the development of your skill is the next step in the process. This way, you are carving out a niche for yourself and building yourself in the field. Also, you need to utilize the skills gained in filling up gaps around the concept of product management.
3. Build a portfolio as a Product Management
Having a portfolio in product management is very important. Portfolios serve as a demonstration of the skills gained as product managers. Your portfolios can be your past projects which are case studies hosted on your website. A portfolio is also an excellent opportunity to share a little bit about who you are, your previous experience, and why you’re a great product manager.
4. Network in the field
Networking is very important as it helps you in your journey as a budding or experienced product manager. This way, you know more about the field, communicate with experts and gain much-needed information about the subject matter.
5. Apply for a product manager job
It is important to test your knowledge of product management by applying for jobs in that field. This way, you’re able to highlight your most important skills and use them properly in the field.
Top resources to learn product management
There are a lot of resources online for anyone who wants to learn product management, including books, blogs, videos, and courses.
In this article, we curated some of our recommended resources available. Of course, the list is by no means exhaustive.
- What is Product Management? | Introduction to Product Management | Product Management by Simplilearn: This video gives a deeper insight into what product management is about and how people can launch their product management careers.
- Product Management - An Overview, Key Responsibility by Skillsoft YoutTube: Skillsoft YouTube channel brings to light an overview of the key responsibilities of a project manager.
- Liam Bolling - How to make a great Product Manager resume: Liam, a YouTuber and creator gives simple ways how to create an excellent product manager resume for the workplace.
- CareerFoundry: CareerFoundry is providing 5 to 6 months of part-time virtual training on product management. The program is ideal for beginners, career-changers, upskilled, and those with family commitments.
- Coursera: Coursera in partnership with Google is offering a six months course on professional project management. This course is certified and requires no degree to apply.
- Udemy: Udemy is offering a concise project management course that covers the skills, tools and processes needed to launch into the marketplace.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is offering a variety of training that allows users to stay ahead with expert-led courses on Product Management.
- How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (By Marty Cagan): Marty explains how product managers can build up products that users will like citing examples from Apple, Google, Microsoft, BBC, Adobe and Netflix.
- The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager (By Josh Anon and Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia): The combined duo of Anon and de Villaumbrosia explain how simple it is to become a great product manager, providing the essential tips.
- When Coffee & Kale Compete (By Alan Klement): Klement uses an interesting topic to provide approachable tips towards product visibility and analyse the competition to know how to navigate it.
- The Lean Startup (By Eric Ries): Ries produces a must-read for not just product management but also, startup owners. This way, they can build a minimum viable product (MVP), breaking down complex initiatives —turning them into small deliverables that are faster to build, test and learn from.
As one of the highly sought-after and in-demand non-coding skills within the tech ecosystem, companies rely on the knowledge and experience of product managers to drive innovation and sustainability of their products and features.
You can become a product manager with the skills and resources mentioned in this article and be equipped to work in the tech ecosystem.