How to Become a Product Manager

Product Manager

Product managers (PM) are responsible for directing what products and software an organisation should build and leading the cross-functional team who build it. PMs define a strategy and manage the design, user research, testing, and feature definition of a product.

A recent survey by 28O group showed that a fully optimised product manager can increase a company’s profits by up 34.2%. Companies around the world are taking notice, with the demand for project managers set to grow much faster than the 14% average increase in 2020.

For the organised, strategic, and creative problem solver, working as a product manager can be an extremely energising and rewarding role.

Working across business, technology, and user experience, you’ll take the goals of your organisation and define a product vision and strategy, then set actions for and manage the team that will bring it to life.

As you facilitate cross-functional collaboration between engineering, marketing, sales, and support teams, working in product management will require you to be a confident leader and relationship-builder.

You’ll also be required to prioritise and make strategic, data-driven decisions to propel a product and its team towards an end goal.

What degree is most commonly held by a Product Manager?

  • BA / M of Business
  • BA / M of Economics
  • BA / M of Marketing

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
Wherever you have an industry with products, you’ll find a product manager role. This means that there are opportunities all over the world; however, stiff competition for these jobs means that locals will generally be favoured over expats. That being said, if you have exceptional skills, including any necessary language knowledge, and do not require an initial work visa, you might find yourself able to land a product manager role in an overseas company.

What is the Salary of a Product Manager?

Experience Average salary | year
Assistant Product Manager 1-2 Years $90,000 £38,443 $70,000
Product Manager 3 -5 Years $130,000 £57,649 $105,000
Head of Product 5+ Years $185,000 £93,292 $170,000

What skills are needed to become a Product Manager?

  • Communication
  • Project reporting
  • Managing cross-functional teams
  • Project management
  • Agile
  • Product development lifecycle
  • Product strategy: product vision
  • Presentation: visual communication
  • Stakeholder management: multiple stakeholder influence / influencing cross-functional teams
  • Marketing
  • Product strategy: strategic product roadmap / product strategy and roadmap / defining product roadmapping
  • Product management: go to market strategy
  • Presentation (to multiple stakeholders)
  • Organization
  • Collaboration
  • Market knowledge
  • People management
  • Product management: product execution
  • Product management: product planning, development and launch
  • Positive attitude: get things done attitude (positive)
  • Product development: strategic product development
  • Product management: product management process
  • Customer insight: Understanding your customer
  • Product development: product design
  • Teamwork: working cross-functionally

Selection of online courses

  • Digital Product Management

    Build product management skills as you learn how to plan develop and manage a successful and user-focused digital product

  • Why Research Matters

    Explore what research is and why its so important to us all Find out how to make evidence-based decisions

  • Getting Started with Agile and Design Thinking

    Get an introduction to agile product development and design thinking so you can build better digital products

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