How to become a Product Manager

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Management & business administration


Who is Product Manager ?

A Product Manager is a professional who oversees the entire lifecycle of a product or service. They bridge the gap between customer needs, business objectives, and product development. Product Managers conduct market research, define product requirements, and create a strategic product roadmap. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, and marketing, to ensure successful product execution. Throughout the product's journey, they analyze performance, gather feedback, and make data-driven decisions to improve its value and user experience. Effective communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills are essential for Product Managers as they drive the product's success and contribute to the company's growth.

Here are the steps to becoming a Product Manager

  1. Educational Background: While there is no specific degree required to become a Product Manager, a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as Business, Engineering, Computer Science, or Marketing can be beneficial. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master's degree or MBA.
  2. Gain Relevant Experience: Employers often look for candidates with relevant work experience. Start by working in related roles such as Business Analyst, Project Manager, or Software Developer to understand the industry and product development process.
  3. Develop Soft Skills: Product Managers need excellent communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Improve your ability to collaborate, negotiate, and make decisions that align with business goals.
  4. Learn About Product Management: Educate yourself about principles, methodologies, and best practices. Numerous online courses, webinars, and books are available on the subject.
  5. Personal Projects: Start working on personal projects or side ventures where you can showcase your product management skills. This can be anything from creating a mobile app to managing a website.
  6. Networking: Build a strong professional network within the industry. Attend conferences, meetups, and networking events related to product management. Connect with other professionals on LinkedIn and engage in relevant discussions.
  7. Certifications: Consider obtaining certifications related to product management. Some well-known certifications include Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Pragmatic Marketing Certified (PMC).
  8. Understand the Market: Successful Product Managers deeply understand the market, customer needs, and industry trends. Stay updated with the latest developments in your field of interest.
  9. Be Data-Driven: Product decisions should be based on data and insights. Familiarize yourself with data analysis tools and methods to make informed decisions.
  10. Internships and Volunteer Work: If you are starting in a new field, consider internships or volunteer opportunities to gain practical experience and build your resume.
  11. Create a Portfolio: Showcase your experience and projects through a portfolio. This can be a website or a well-organized document demonstrating your skills and accomplishments.
  12. Job Applications: Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant experience and passion for product management. Apply to product management positions in companies that align with your career goals.
  13. Interview Preparation: Prepare for product management interviews by practicing common interview questions and discussing your product development, problem-solving, and decision-making approach.
  14. Continuous Learning: The field of product management is constantly evolving. Stay curious and learn about new tools, methodologies, and industry advancements.
  15. On-the-Job Learning: Once you land a Product Manager role, embrace on-the-job learning and seek feedback from peers and superiors to grow in your position.

How to pursue a career as a Project Manager without formal qualifications

  1. Gain Relevant Experience: Start by working in roles related to project management, even if they are not formal project management positions. Seek opportunities to coordinate projects, manage tasks, or lead small teams to gain practical experience.
  2. Showcase Transferable Skills: Emphasize transferable skills on your resume and during interviews. Highlight your organizational, communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities, which are crucial for project management roles.
  3. Learn Project Management Principles: Educate yourself about project management methodologies, tools, and best practices through online courses, workshops, and books. Familiarize yourself with industry standards and project management frameworks.
  4. Personal Projects: Take the initiative to manage or volunteer for projects within your community or organization. This will allow you to apply project management principles practically and build your portfolio.
  5. Network and Seek Mentors: Connect with experienced Project Managers and join professional networking groups. Seek advice and guidance from mentors who can offer insights and support as you pursue your career goals.
  6. Obtain Certifications (Optional): While formal qualifications are not mandatory, consider obtaining certifications like Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or other relevant certifications. These can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to the field.
  7. Create a Portfolio: Develop a portfolio showcasing your project management experience, accomplishments, and successful project outcomes. Use this portfolio to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
  8. Apply for Entry-Level Roles: Look for entry-level project management positions or roles that involve project coordination. Open to opportunities that can serve as stepping stones to more advanced positions.
  9. Highlight Achievements: During job interviews, showcase your achievements in project-related roles. Discuss how you effectively managed projects, met deadlines, and delivered successful outcomes.
  10. Be a Continuous Learner: Stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in project management. Engage in continuous learning and seek opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge.
  11. Seek Feedback and Improve: Be open to feedback from peers and superiors. Use constructive criticism to improve your project management skills and approach.
  12. Develop Soft Skills: Apart from technical knowledge, develop soft skills such as teamwork, conflict resolution, and adaptability. These are crucial for successful project management.

How to achieve certification as a Project Manager

Whether you have unintentionally been fulfilling the role of a project manager for a while and now want to add a formal qualification to your CV, or you have always aspired to become a project manager, obtaining a certification is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the project management career path to potential employers.

While a formal qualification is no longer an absolute requirement to enter the field of project management, it is still worth considering if you are genuinely dedicated to enhancing your project management skills.

A certification not only opens up more job opportunities and increases your earning potential but also exposes you to project management best practices and techniques that you might not otherwise encounter.

Here is what you should know if you are interested in becoming a certified project manager:

  1. Identify the Right Certification: Research the various project management certifications available, such as PMP, PRINCE2, CAPM, and PMI-ACP. Consider factors like industry demand, job descriptions, time, budget, and your company's preferred processes to determine which certification aligns best with your goals and circumstances.
  2. Project Management Professional (PMP): Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), PMP is one of the most recognized certifications globally and can significantly impact your salary. It requires prior project management experience and specific project management education or a CAPM certification.
  3. Projects In Controlled Environments (PRINCE2): Unlike PMP, PRINCE2 is a project and process-based certification without strict prerequisites. It may be suitable for beginners seeking a strong foundation in project management.
  4. Certified Associate In Project Management (CAPM): An entry-level certification from PMI, the CAPM provides foundational project management knowledge and can be used as a stepping stone to PMP.
  5. Agile Certifications: If your industry follows agile practices, consider agile-specific certifications such as PMI-ACP, PRINCE2 Agile, or Certified ScrumMaster, depending on your preferences and industry requirements.
  6. Obtain and Maintain the Certification: Once you decide on a certification, invest time and effort into preparing for the exam through self-study or online prep courses. Some certifications require practical experience in addition to passing the exam, and most certifications need periodic renewal to stay current with project management standards.
  7. Master Project Management Tools: Familiarize yourself with project management tools that can help streamline your processes, increase efficiency, and improve project outcomes. Utilizing the right tool can significantly enhance your project management capabilities.

Typical day at work

What does Product Manager do?

  1. Market Research: Conduct market research to understand customer needs, preferences, and market trends and identify opportunities for new products or product enhancements.
  2. Product Strategy: Developing a clear product strategy and vision, aligning it with the company's overall business goals and objectives.
  3. Defining Product Requirements: Gathering and analyzing user feedback, customer insights, and stakeholder input to define detailed product requirements and features.
  4. Roadmap Planning: Creating a product roadmap that outlines the product's development plan, feature releases, and future enhancements.
  5. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Collaborating with cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, marketing, and sales, to ensure the successful execution and launch of the product.
  6. Prioritization: Prioritizing product features and enhancements based on customer needs, market demand, and business impact.
  7. Project Management: Overseeing the product development process, setting timelines, tracking progress, and managing risks to ensure timely delivery.
  8. Product Launch: Planning and executing product launches, including marketing strategies and promotional activities.
  9. Performance Analysis: Monitoring the product's performance and gathering data on key metrics to evaluate its success and identify areas for improvement.
  10. Customer Support and Feedback: Interacting with customers, addressing their concerns, and incorporating their feedback to enhance the product.
  11. Competitor Analysis: Keeping track of competitors and market trends to stay ahead and maintain a competitive edge.
  12. Continuous Improvement: Identifying opportunities for product improvement, optimization, and innovation to meet changing market demands.

Product Managers advocate for the product, ensuring its success and alignment with customer needs and business goals. They play a pivotal role in the product development process, from ideation to launch and beyond, using a combination of strategic thinking, analytical skills, and effective communication to drive the product's success in the market.

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Product Manager?

Product management requires the individual to hone the skills on product definition, shipping, and iteration. Product managers excel in focusing on where each of these competencies has led to the success or failure of their products and constantly improving their customer feedback-driven product development process.

An important part of product management is to have the opportunity in the interview to relate with clients, to understand their body language and feelings, and to know wisely the pain points which the product or feature can fix. A high-EQ (Emotional Quotient) product manager has deep relationships within their company and a profound understanding of how to overcome both inner and outer challenges to ship a successful product.

Possibly one of the most important role of product manager is to create honest and trustworthy relations with internal as well as external stakeholders. Relationship management is also important for effective communication, dispute resolution, and collaborating with others for a common purpose, which is especially difficult when a product manager is occupied with juggling customer demands, resource-constrained development teams, and the company's revenue goals.


Salary for Product Manager?

The monthly average salary for a Product Manager in India can vary based on experience, location, company size, and industry. Product Managers are vital for driving product strategy and success; their salaries reflect their responsibilities and expertise.

On average, the monthly salary for a Product Manager in India can range from INR 70,000 to INR 2,00,000 or more.

Here is a rough breakdown of salary levels based on experience:

  1. Junior or Entry-level Product Manager: INR 70,000 to INR 1,20,000 per month.
  2. Mid-level Product Manager (2-5 years of experience): INR 1,20,000 to INR 1,80,000 per month.
  3. Experienced and Senior-level Product Manager (5+ years of experience): INR 1,80,000 to INR 2,00,000 or more monthly.

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the specific organization, job responsibilities, and the individual's qualifications and skills.

The salary range for Product Managers can also be influenced by market demand, economic conditions, and the company's industry and reputation. Additionally, Product Managers may receive additional benefits and incentives based on their performance and contributions to the organization.

Ready to become a Product Manager ?

Take the world’s best assessment test !

Take a Test


How to become an Product Manager?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Product Manager ?


Which course I can pursue?


Which Industries are open for Product Manager?

  1. Technology: Technology companies, including software firms and tech startups, often hire Product Managers to oversee the development of digital products and software applications.
  2. E-commerce/Retail: E-commerce platforms and retail companies employ Product Managers to optimize online shopping experiences and develop new product offerings.
  3. Finance: Financial institutions hire Product Managers for digital banking products, mobile applications, and financial services.
  4. Healthcare: The healthcare industry utilizes Product Managers to develop and improve medical devices, software, and digital health solutions.
  5. Automotive: Automotive companies hire Product Managers to work on connected car technologies and automotive software applications.
  6. Education: EdTech companies and educational institutions employ Product Managers to develop online learning platforms and educational software.
  7. Media and Entertainment: Media companies and entertainment platforms hire Product Managers to work on content streaming services, digital media, and entertainment applications.
  8. Travel and Hospitality: Travel companies employ Product Managers to develop travel booking platforms, mobile apps, and customer experience enhancements.
  9. Telecommunications: Telecom companies hire Product Managers to work on mobile apps, communication tools, and digital services.
  10. Consumer Goods: Companies hire Product Managers to develop and launch new consumer products and digital offerings.
  11. Health and Wellness: Health and wellness companies utilize Product Managers to work on fitness apps, health-tracking devices, and wellness platforms.
  12. Food and Beverage: Food and beverage companies employ Product Managers to develop and launch new food and beverage products.


Are there internships available for Product Manager?

Yes, internships for Product Managers are available in many industries and companies. Product Management internships offer valuable hands-on experience and exposure to various product development and management aspects. These internships are typically designed to provide aspiring Product Managers with opportunities to work on real-world projects, collaborate with cross-functional teams, and learn essential skills needed for the role.

Some common tasks and responsibilities that Product Management interns may be involved in include:

  1. Assisting in market research and customer analysis to understand user needs and preferences.
  2. Gathering and analyzing data to provide insights for product decision-making.
  3. Supporting the creation and maintenance of product roadmaps and feature development plans.
  4. Participating in product strategy discussions and brainstorming sessions.
  5. Collaborating with engineering, design, and marketing teams to ensure successful product execution.
  6. Assisting in product launches and marketing activities.
  7. Conducting competitive analysis to understand the product landscape.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Product Manager?

Product Managers are promising as businesses increasingly focus on delivering customer-centric products and services. Product Managers drive innovation, market expansion, and revenue growth. With the rising demand for technology and digital products, Product Managers are in high demand across various industries. Their expertise in understanding customer needs, market trends, and product strategy makes them essential in shaping successful product development. As companies invest in digital transformation and enhancement of user experience, Product Managers' roles are expected to expand. A career as a Product Manager offers opportunities for career advancement, competitive salaries, and the potential to impact an organization's success significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What qualifications do I need to become a project manager?

Answer: Each set of qualifications is optional to become a project manager, as the path can vary depending on the industry and organization. However, having a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as Business, Engineering, Computer Science, or Project Management can be beneficial. Additionally, gaining practical experience in project management roles, developing relevant skills, and obtaining certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) can enhance your prospects as a project manager.

2. Is MBA required for a project manager?

Answer: No, an MBA (Master of Business Administration) is not a strict requirement to become a project manager. While an MBA can provide valuable business knowledge and leadership skills, pursuing this specific degree to work as a project manager is unnecessary. Many successful project managers have diverse educational backgrounds and relevant work experience in project management.

3. What should I do after the 12th to become a project manager?

After completing your 12th grade, you can take the following steps to become a project manager:

  • Pursue a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, or Project Management.
  • Gain practical experience in project-related roles through internships or entry-level positions.
  • Develop essential communication, leadership, problem-solving, and time-management skills.
  • Consider obtaining project management certifications like CAPM to enhance your credentials.

4. How many years does it take to become a project manager?

Answer: The time required to become a project manager can vary based on individual circumstances and career choices. Typically, it may take several years to become a competent project manager. After completing a bachelor's degree (which usually takes 3-4 years), gaining relevant work experience, and obtaining certifications, it is reasonable to aim for mid-level project management positions within 5-8 years. However, continuous learning and career advancement can lead to more senior roles.

5. Which degree is best for a project manager?

Answer: The best degree for a project manager depends on personal interests and career goals. Some degrees that can be advantageous for aspiring project managers include: