Interest in the profession of a product manager is growing: more than 500 thousand resumes can be found on the indeed.com portal, for instance.

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Product manager: what does he do, how much he earns, how to become one

Employers also have a demand for them, and, according to executive director and co-founder of ProductStar, former Skyeng product director, head of multimedia services at Facebook and Google, it will grow rapidly over the next three to five years.

However, you cannot learn to be a product manager at a university, and the specialty itself presupposes the presence of cross-competencies acquired in the course of active practice. We figure out what tasks a product manager faces, in which areas besides IT one can work and how to enter the profession.

Who are product managers?

A product manager is a relevant and young profession, but often incomprehensible to people outside the IT sphere. Products are responsible for the viability and market success of any type of product, not necessarily technology, like mentioned in this book https://e-book.business/cracking-the-pm-interview/.

While there is no specialized direction in classical universities, people are moving into the profession from completely different areas: from analytics and development to marketing, sales or design. The main thing that is required of an employee is communication skills and a tendency to systematize knowledge and data.

The product manager is responsible for both the product creation process and the achievement of business metrics, including monetization. Responsibilities include:

  • development of a long-term product strategy and possible changes;
  • working with the development team and analysts;
  • receiving feedback from users, controlling development timelines, etc.

When a company is faced with the task of bringing a product to the market, the interests of various parties are included in the process: business owners who rely on profit, marketers who must ensure that the product meets the expectations of the audience, developers, because they will have to bring their plans to life, and many others.

The global task of a product manager is to combine the wishes, capabilities and efforts of all parties for the benefit of a common cause. In addition, it is important to correctly prioritize and understand how the development can sacrifice in favor of the marketing component, and vice versa.

Is there a demand for PM outside of IT?

In a complex business that works for the mass market, the factor of speed becomes more and more important, and time to market (the period of time during which a product enters the market) is compressed to the limit. And even if the product is very good, competitors can literally bypass the company by half a body and nullify all the efforts of the business to launch. This competitive race, spanning all high dynamic markets - from telecom and finance to retail and FMCG - is driving the ever-growing demand for product managers.

The world was moving fast on digital rails, but 2020 understandably made the digital transition for all industries literally instant, but not always painless. It is the product manager who helps the business to understand competitors and detach from them, monetize the product, set tasks for everyone from designers to developers, manage the entire team and product involved in the process, not only at the MVP stage (minimum viable version), but also further along the entire life cycle...

Among the industries where the product approach is already being implemented:

  • IT and Telecom;
  • E-Commerce and retail;
  • banks and finance;
  • Education and EdTech;
  • a large segment of various shops and coffee houses near the house, showrooms, new bright brands;
  • and even government organizations.

And since everything is in digital now, we need people who can support the launch of new mass products.

How much do product managers earn?

The demand for product managers and the average salary for an unusual new position can be judged on the basis of objective indicators. At the time of this writing, the HeadHunter portal database contained 22,152 product vacancies in the US. Average salaries are shown in the graph below.

And a couple more interesting numbers can be found at this link - the index of the salary level of products in Google. As you can see, top specialists in this category are confidently breaking through the psychological mark of $1 million per year (albeit together with company shares and bonuses). But the data is still impressive.

For us, these numbers indicate that the product manager is a highly paid profession all over the world. Interest in it is fueled by the fact that it provides a good career springboard in digital for those who are not ready to get deeply into programming and development and do not have strong mathematical skills, but at the same time want to understand the business part of the issue. This is why product manager is one of the most attractive jobs in IT today without special skills.