One of the fastest-growing fields in tech is product management. Combining creativity, strategy, and technology, product managers play a fundamental role in bringing innovative new products to market.
If you’d enjoy a career offering a balanced blend of business know-how, project management, and cutting-edge tech, it could be perfect for you.
Take our product management career quiz to figure out which role might fit you best.
In this article, we’ll explore why product management is such an important field and why product managers are some of the most fulfilled individuals working in tech. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional looking to mix things up, you’ll soon have all the information you need to see if this path is right for you!
- Why product management is important
- 8 reasons why you should become a product manager
- Why product management should be the next step in your career
- How to become a product manager
- Final thoughts
Ready to get the lowdown? Then let’s dive in!
Why product management is important
It’s probably not something you consider much, but product management shapes everybody’s lives.
Each time you pick up your phone to buy something online; scroll through social media, or just download the latest software to your computer; there was likely a product manager behind the scenes. Their job is to ensure the product meets its users’ needs and is developed and delivered on time.
Of course, it’s not just down to product managers. All products require input from developers, designers, marketers, and other professionals. But product managers are the unifiers who bring these disparate groups together. They define the product’s vision, strategy, and roadmap and keep everyone focused on a common goal.
Here are a few reasons why product management is so vital to successful companies:
Product management helps businesses stay competitive
With effective product managers focused on understanding and meeting customer needs, companies can deliver solutions that match—or, better yet, exceed—those of their competitors.
Product management ensures efficient use of resources
Deciding which features and functionality to focus on involves product managers making regular trade-offs between competing priorities. This ensures that resources are used most efficiently.
Product management promotes innovation
Product managers are often tasked with identifying new market opportunities. With their close relationship with end users, they have their fingers on the pulse of what real people want and are perfectly placed to promote innovation within a business.
8 reasons why you should become a product manager
OK, we know why product managers are critical for business. But what about individual motivations? Here are some compelling reasons why product management could be the right career for you:
1. Career-changers are particularly suited to product management
This is because their background and soft skills are highly sought-after in this field.
In fact, according to the Future of Product Management Report 2022, over 50% of product managers enter the sector from non-product backgrounds. Could you be next?
2. Help a business to boom
According to one AirFocus survey, a fully optimized product management process can result in an average profit increase for businesses of 34%. Contributing to that kind of value-add means you’ll reap the financial and personal rewards of helping an organization to grow.
3. Earn a competitive salary
According to the job site Indeed, the average salary for a product manager in the US is $103,67—that’s almost double the average US salary. Indeed also reports average yearly cash bonuses of $5,000 for product managers.
4. Enjoy the flexibility of working remotely
Looking to avoid the commute or strike a better work-life balance? While face-to-face work may sometimes be necessary, using remote product management tools like Trello and Jira means product management is at the forefront of the shift to remote working.
5. There are tons of training options
The days of having a single, restrictive pathway into a new career are long gone. Today, you can choose from work-based learning, apprenticeships, college degrees, and even online certifications. Assess the options and simply choose the path that’s right for you.
6. Future-proof your skills
Many product management skills can boost future career options. For example, training as a Scrum Master is useful in product management. But if you change track later on, you can apply these skills in others areas, too.
7. Work with a diversity of people
Product management requires working closely with multidisciplinary teams of marketers, designers, software engineers, and sales folk. This opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and skillsets can be hugely enriching.
8. Impact people’s lives
Product management involves developing products that improve people’s lives, whether it’s a new app that makes day-to-day tasks easier or a medical device to improve patient outcomes.
For many product managers, contributing to products with a positive impact is a core motivating factor.
Why product management should be the next step in your career
So far, we’ve explored why product management is good for business and why product managers might want to enter the field. But how do you know if it’s suited to your skills and interests?
Here are a few reasons why product management could be the next logical step in your career:
- You’re interested in both business and technology: Product management is ideal for those who want to be involved in both business and tech. You’ll need to understand business aspects and market trends of new technologies, as well as customer needs and budget constraints. However, you’ll also get to focus on product design, development, and delivery. It’s a great mix!
- You enjoy problem-solving: Product management involves more than just overseeing a project. You’re responsible for solving problems and making decisions about features and functionality. If you have a flair for analyzing data and identifying trends, you could have a valuable impact on users and businesses alike.
- You’re a great communicator: Product managers need to communicate effectively with all their stakeholders, including developers, designers, marketers, and c-suite executives. You’ll be able to articulate your product vision, strategy, and roadmap while handling feedback and criticism from others in a calm and collected fashion.
- You’re a natural leader: Product management is a leadership role. You’ll be responsible for bringing together and inspiring multidisciplinary teams, even during tough times. You’ll also need to be able to motivate others and make tough decisions when necessary.
- You want to shape the forward direction of a business: Product management is a critical function in any tech company. Although it’s focused on product development, you’ll also be a critical friend that plays a strategic role in the forward direction of a business.
How to become a product manager
If you’ve decided that becoming a product manager is right for you, here are some steps to get you started:
- Research the field thoroughly: Understand the role and responsibilities of a product manager. For instance, research different methodologies or frameworks you can use to manage the product lifecycle. You can do this by reading blogs, attending events or webinars, and watching tutorials on YouTube.
- Get experience: Product managers often start in other roles, such as software development, marketing, or design. Find opportunities to learn more about these critical areas. Doing so will help you better understand the product development lifecycle and the input of these areas of expertise.
- Gain a certification: There are countless online courses and certifications available to help you learn product management. These include broad-sweep product management certifications and those targeting specific methodologies, such as Scrum or Agile.
- Network: Attend product management conferences, meetups, and events to connect with others in the industry. A strong network will help you learn new things and, potentially, find jobs.
- Apply for jobs: Seek out openings in your local area and apply for positions that match your skills and experience. Be prepared to showcase your skills and experience with a polished resume and portfolio of work.
For detailed tips, check out this guide to becoming a product manager in 2023.
So there we go, everything you need to know about why product management could be ideal for you! In this post, we’ve learned that product management is a fulfilling and rewarding career path for those who enjoy blending business with technology, problem-solving, and leadership.
With the right skills and experience, product managers can have a significant impact on the success of a tech company. And while it might not be a career that people yell about from the rooftops, it can also have a real-world impact on people’s lives.
To learn more about why product managers are so vital to the tech industry, or to dig deeper into the responsibilities of the role, sign up for this free 5-day product management short course. Alternatively, check out the following guides: