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Product manager jobs can be both rewarding but also challenging. Working as a product manager involves cooperating with people who make products and use these products to ensure a product meets all needs and a company remains competitive. The role requires a mixture of business, marketing, data analysis knowledge, as well as strong communications and interpersonal skills.
Product manager employers can be found in a variety of sectors, including technical products such as software and apps, financial products such as credit cards and manufacturing products such as household appliances. Product manager jobs can be loosely classed into two types; product marketing which focuses on the users of a product and product development which looks at the creation of products. Keep reading to learn more about product manager jobs, including expected salaries and career development.
Working as a product manager involves undertaking a variety of different duties. Whilst most roles exist in the private sector, positions in the public sector do exist. Whilst product manager jobs can be found in many industries, there are often many positions in the tech, business and financial sectors. You will be given lots of responsibilities and likely involved in every aspect of a product’s lifecycle.
Whilst likely office based, you may be expected to visit other sites, including manufacturing facilities and client offices. General duties involved in product manager jobs, include:
- Regular meetings with various product stakeholders
- Researching areas of improvement for existing products and presenting findings
- Researching and presenting new ideas and features
- Creating long-term roadmaps for products
- Attending conferences and other external events
Whilst there are no formal education requirements for product manager jobs, many employers now require candidates to have a university degree. Furthermore, depending on the industry, your degree may have to match the area of a company. For example, product manager jobs in finance may require you to have a degree in economics or a similar field.
A variety of marketing certificates are also available from various professional bodies, including the Market Research Society. In addition to having the relevant qualifications, employers will be looking for candidates who can display the following attributes:
- Solid understanding of a company’s products, customers and markets
- Ability to train, mentor and assign work to junior members of a team
- Highly organised, determined and able to multi-task
- Creative outlook to issue and excellent problem-solving skills
- Analytical and report-making abilities
Product manager jobs can offer excellent career prospects. As a manager, you may be responsible for one specific aspect of a product, such as marketing. However, as you develop and gain more experience, you will likely be given more responsibilities and control over more aspects of a product.
As you develop, you may be put in charge of a team, whilst promotion can lead to product owner and head of product roles. From here, more senior-level positions such as chief marketing officer can be possible, depending on a company and your own abilities. Regarding salaries, you will likely start on around £25,000, with this rising to £35,000 – £60,000 for senior product manager jobs.
There are various pros and cons to working as a product manager. The role can be exciting, dynamic and creative, with you working across various areas and have a real effect on the success of a product. Once fully trained and with experience, there will be opportunities to change employers/sectors, with your skills often in high demand. Good salaries and long-term security are other positives to working as a product manager.
However, there are also some more negative issues to related to this role. Product manager jobs can be demanding, with employers providing heavy workloads and tight deadlines and targets to meet. You will often have to meet and give presentations to people from various different groups, as well as analyse complex data and present it in a clear and easy to understand way.