become a product manager

Product managers are the driving force behind the creation and improvement of consumer products and software. They are responsible for understanding customer needs, defining product vision, and collaborating with different teams to deliver value to the market. Product management is a broad and dynamic field that offers many opportunities for career growth and satisfaction. If you are interested in becoming a product manager, this article will provide you with an overview of the role, the skills required, and the steps you can take to pursue this career path.

What Is a Product Manager?

A product manager is someone who oversees the development of products for an organization. A product can be anything that solves a problem or fulfills a need for customers, such as a physical item, a digital service, or a software application. A product manager’s main responsibilities include:

  • Conducting customer and market research to identify problems and opportunities.
  • Defining the product vision and strategy that align with the organization’s goals and values.
  • Creating and communicating a product roadmap that outlines the features and timeline for the product development.
  • Working with cross-functional teams such as engineering, design, marketing, and sales to deliver the product to the market.
  • Measuring and analyzing the product performance and user feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Product managers work in various industries and company sizes, from startups to large corporations. They may also specialize in different types of products, such as technical, growth, or marketing products.

What Does a Product Manager Do?

A product manager’s day-to-day activities may vary depending on the stage of the product development and the specific needs of the organization. However, some common tasks that a product manager may perform are:

  • Conducting customer interviews, surveys, or focus groups to understand their pain points, preferences, and expectations.
  • Analyzing data from various sources such as market research reports, competitor analysis, or user behavior analytics to identify trends and opportunities.
  • Writing problem statements that clearly define the customer problem and the value proposition of the product.
  • Prioritizing and validating product ideas based on their feasibility, desirability, and viability.
  • Creating user stories, acceptance criteria, and wireframes that describe the product requirements and functionality.
  • Developing and maintaining a product roadmap that communicates the vision, goals, and milestones of the product development.
  • Collaborating with developers, designers, testers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product meets the quality standards and user expectations.
  • Launching and marketing the product to the target audience using various channels such as email campaigns, social media posts, or landing pages.
  • Collecting and analyzing user feedback, reviews, ratings, or metrics to evaluate the product performance and user satisfaction.
  • Iterating and improving the product based on user feedback, data insights, or changing market conditions.

Careers in Product Management

Product management is a diverse and evolving field that offers many career options for aspiring professionals. Depending on your experience level, skills, interests, and goals, you can pursue different roles within product management. Some of the common titles and their order of seniority are:

  • Associate or Junior Product Manager: This is an entry-level role for someone who is new to product management or has less than two years of experience. An associate or junior product manager typically works on smaller projects or supports senior product managers in their tasks. They may also be involved in learning new skills or tools related to product management.
  • Product Manager: This is a mid-level role for someone who has at least two years of experience in product management or a related field. A product manager usually owns one or more products or features and is responsible for their entire life cycle. They may also lead or mentor junior product managers in their team.
  • Senior Product Manager: This is a senior-level role for someone who has at least five years of experience in product management or a related field. A senior product manager usually oversees multiple products or features and is responsible for their strategic direction and alignment with the organization’s vision. They may also manage or coach other product managers in their team.
  • Director of Product/Product Leader: This is a leadership role for someone who has at least seven years of experience in product management or a related field. A director of product or a product leader usually leads a team of product managers and sets the overall vision, strategy, and roadmap for their products. They may also coordinate with other departments such as engineering, marketing, sales, or finance to ensure cross-functional collaboration and alignment.
  • Chief Product Officer/VP of Product: This is an executive role for someone who has at least 10 years of experience in product management or a related field. A chief product officer or a VP of product usually oversees all aspects of the organization’s products and ensures that they deliver value to customers and stakeholders. They may also define the organization’s product culture, processes, best practices, and standards.

Apart from these roles, there are also other functions within product management that you can explore depending on your skills and interests. For example:

  • Technical Product Manager: A technical product manager focuses on the technical aspects of the product, such as the architecture, design, development, testing, and deployment. They may also work closely with engineers, developers, and testers to ensure that the product meets the technical requirements and quality standards.
  • Growth Product Manager: A growth product manager focuses on the growth aspects of the product, such as the acquisition, retention, engagement, and monetization of users. They may also work closely with marketers, analysts, and data scientists to optimize the product performance and user behavior using various methods such as A/B testing, experimentation, or analytics.
  • Marketing Product Manager: A marketing product manager focuses on the marketing aspects of the product, such as the branding, positioning, messaging, and promotion of the product. They may also work closely with marketers, salespeople, and customers to communicate the value proposition and benefits of the product using various channels such as email campaigns, social media posts, or landing pages.

Steps to Become a Product Manager

There is no one-size-fits-all path to becoming a product manager. However, there are some general steps that you can follow to prepare yourself for this career. Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn the fundamentals of product management. You can start by reading books, blogs, podcasts, or newsletters that cover various topics related to product management. You can also take online courses or boot camps that teach you the basics of product management theory and practice. Some of the popular resources for learning product management are:
    • Product School: An online platform that offers courses, certifications, events, and coaching for aspiring and current product managers.
    • ProductPlan: An online tool that helps you create and share beautiful product roadmaps.
    • Product Management – The Art of Making Things Happen: A book by Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia that covers the essential skills and techniques for successful product management.
    • The Product Podcast: A podcast that features interviews with top product leaders from companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix, or Airbnb.
    • Product Hunt: A website that showcases the latest and greatest products in tech.
  • Create side projects that mimic product management. One of the best ways to learn and demonstrate your product management skills is by creating your own products or features. You can start by identifying a problem that you or someone else faces and coming up with a solution for it. You can then follow the steps of product development such as conducting research, defining requirements, designing wireframes, developing prototypes, testing usability, launching MVPs (minimum viable products), and collecting feedback. You can use various tools and platforms to help you create your products or features such as:
    • Figma: A collaborative design tool that lets you create wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and more.
    • Bubble: A no-code platform that lets you build web applications without writing code.
    • Firebase: A platform that provides various services for developing mobile and web applications such as authentication, database, storage, hosting, analytics, and more.
    • Launchaco: A tool that helps you create landing pages for your products or features in minutes.
    • UserTesting: A platform that lets you get feedback from real users on your products or features.
  • Network with product managers. Another way to learn and advance your career in product management is by networking with other product managers. You can connect with them online or offline through various channels such as:
    • LinkedIn: A professional networking site that lets you find and connect with other product managers in your industry or location.
    • Meetup: A platform that lets you find and join local groups of people who share your interests in product management or related fields.
    • ProductTank: A global community of over 200 local groups of product managers who organize regular events to share their knowledge and experience.
    • Mind the Product: A community of over 150,000 product managers who host online and offline events such as conferences, workshops, webinars, and more.

Product Manager Requirements

There is no standard set of requirements for becoming a product manager. However, there are some common factors that employers may look for when hiring a product manager. These include:

  • Educational background: Although there is no specific degree requirement for this role, candidates may hold undergraduate degrees related to business administration, marketing or product management. Post that, consider going for a master’s degree in management since many companies prefer candidates with a postgraduate degree.
  • Experience requirements: Depending on the level and type of role, candidates may need to have relevant experience in product management or related fields such as engineering, design, marketing, or sales. Some employers may also look for specific industry or domain knowledge, such as e-commerce, health care, education, or gaming.
  • Discussion on the necessity of an MBA: Some employers may prefer candidates who have an MBA degree, as it may indicate a higher level of business acumen, strategic thinking, and leadership skills. However, an MBA is not a mandatory requirement for this role, and many successful product managers do not have one. The decision to pursue an MBA depends on your personal and professional goals, as well as the cost and time involved in obtaining one.
  • Product management skills: Candidates need to have a combination of soft and hard skills to excel in this role. Some of the essential skills are:
    • Soft skills: These are the interpersonal and communication skills that enable you to work effectively with others, such as customers, stakeholders, and team members. Some of the important soft skills for product managers are:
      • Communication: The ability to convey your ideas clearly and persuasively, both verbally and in writing, to different audiences and contexts.
      • Collaboration: The ability to work well with others, respect different opinions and perspectives, and foster a positive and productive team culture.
      • Creativity: The ability to generate innovative and original solutions for customer problems and market opportunities.
      • Empathy: The ability to understand and relate to the emotions, needs, and motivations of customers and users.
      • Strategy: The ability to define and execute a vision and plan for the product that aligns with the organization’s goals and values.
    • Hard skills: These are the technical and analytical skills that enable you to perform specific tasks related to product development, such as research, design, testing, or launch. Some of the important hard skills for product managers are:
      • Industry-specific expertise: The knowledge of the industry or domain that your product operates in, such as the trends, challenges, competitors, regulations, and best practices.
      • Product life-cycle utilization: The knowledge of the different stages of product development, from ideation to launch to post-launch, and the tools and methods used in each stage.
      • Product release management: The knowledge of how to plan, coordinate, and execute the release of new or updated products or features to the market.
      • Product design knowledge: The knowledge of how to create user-centric and intuitive products or features that meet the user needs and expectations.
      • Value proposition creation: The knowledge of how to define and communicate the value and benefits of your product or feature to customers and users.

Salary Insights

The salary for product managers may vary depending on factors such as location, experience level, specialization, industry, or company size. However, according to [Glassdoor], the average base salary for product managers in India is ₹1,600,000 per year as of August 2023.

The salary range for product managers in India is from ₹600,000 to ₹3,000,000 per year. The salary progression for product managers may depend on their performance, skills, and career advancement. Generally, product managers can expect to earn more as they gain more experience, take on more responsibilities, or move up the hierarchy.

Read: How to Become a Management Consultant in India: A Complete Guide

Final Words!

Product management is more than just a job. It is a passion, a mindset, and a way of making a positive impact in the world. Product managers are the ones who shape the future of products that millions of people use and love. They are the ones who bridge the gap between customers, technology, and business. They are the ones who turn ideas into reality.

We hope this article has given you some valuable insights and guidance on how to become a product manager. We also hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as we have enjoyed writing it for you.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your product management journey!

By Acadlog is a leading platform in India's private job sector, known for its exceptional expertise and guidance. With over a decade of experience in career consultation and talent acquisition, the team at has a deep understanding of the Indian job market. Their dedication to assisting individuals in finding fulfilling careers led to the establishment of this trusted platform for private job listings and insightful career advice.

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