Behind every successful company, there’s a string of in-demand products and services. Without the iconic iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, Apple wouldn’t be the company it is today. Product managers are the professionals responsible for creating these amazing products. And Steve Jobs was arguably the greatest product manager that ever lived.

You’ll need to be a natural leader with great social skills to cut it in this field. The role also requires technical know-how and an understanding of engineering principles. If you think you have what it takes, a career in product management can be highly rewarding and well-compensated.

Let’s explore the role in more detail and learn exactly what a product manager does.

Which Tech Career is Right for You?

Ready to change your career and join the world’s next workforce? At Thinkful, we’ve got your back with various tech programs to get you equipped with in-demand skills.

What is Product Management?

Product management is concerned with the research, analysis, development, testing, marketing, launch, and ongoing support of new products within an organization. These new products can be anything from physical devices and gadgets, to digital products like apps and online services.

The Importance of Product Management

Launching new products directly affect company profits and can make or break a business. The role carries a high level of responsibility. For this reason, top product managers are well-respected and highly sought-after in the tech industry.

Technology is shaping the world in unimaginable ways. With the introduction of 5G, the internet is becoming faster and more affordable, making it more accessible to everyone. Smartphone technology is also booming and users now enjoy more apps than ever before.

The level of competition among app developers and tech companies has skyrocketed in recent years. This has further increased the importance of the product management role. Companies must find creative ways to market and launch innovative products to stand out from the crowd.

Product managers are responsible for monitoring the critical aspects of a product. They need to understand the technical components of a product and have excellent managerial skills. This helps them bring together different departments to achieve company goals.

The Six Stages of Product Management

No matter what product you’re working on, you’ll need to follow a six-stage process:

  1. Create a Vision: The first step in the product management process is to develop a product idea and create a vision. Analyzing the market and knowing what it demands is a skill. A good product manager should know the needs of the market and learn how to satisfy customers.
  2. Plan: After creating an idea, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools, assemble critical resources, allocate work, and set targets. This step provides a checklist for the effective management of time and resources.
  3. Design and Develop: This is where the technical part of building a new product comes in. Programming languages like Python, Java, R, and UI/UX design aspects come together to enhance usability. Competing products are analyzed to determine performance and set a benchmark in terms of quality.
  4. Test: Prototyping and testing is done to ensure the initial idea matches the final product. This serves as a virtual model and helps to identify any bugs so they can be fixed before the official launch.
  5. Launch: Launching the product involves sales, marketing, and advertising. In this stage, the user will experience the product for the first time.
  6. Analyze: Direct user feedback is analyzed along with any digital data collected. This can help product managers understand how the product is performing. Both in terms of user opinion and technical efficiency. Technical glitches will be reported to the development team to be fixed in future updates.

Skills Required to Become a Product Manager

Product management requires an impressive mix of both social and technical skills. Here are some of the most in-demand skills needed to make it in this field:

Product Management Specializations

Product managers are sometimes labeled differently across the corporate world. Although core skills overlap, the specific job title can indicate subtle differences in technical expertise. Let’s look at some of the more common product management specialties that exist:

How to Become a Product Manager

A bachelor’s degree is the traditional path taken by most aspiring product managers. However, a degree isn’t actually needed to get started in this field. Due to the significant investment of both time and money that a degree requires, many students are now opting for alternative training programs.

A product management bootcamp is one such alternative. These laser-focused online courses prioritize practical learning over theoretical study. They’re designed to teach students career-ready skills so they can hit the ground running.

If you’re passionate about products, great with people, and love solving problems, enroll in our product management bootcamp today. We’ll teach you how to research markets, identify user problems, envision great solutions, and sell your ideas. Our industry experts will mentor you throughout the program and beyond. We’ll provide interview prep and help you land a top product management job, fast.

To continue learning about a future career in product management check out our blog. We write regular product-based articles on topics like how to get a job as a product manager and provide insight from leading product management experts.

Which Tech Career is Right for You?

Ready to change your career and join the world’s next workforce? At Thinkful, we’ve got your back with various tech programs to get you equipped with in-demand skills.

Share this article