Product Management Directors


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Product management directors must have a combination of math and business skills and strong communication abilities. A well-rounded education is a good start for this career. Take classes in economics, math, business, science, social sciences, English, and computers. Knowledge of a foreign language can also be helpful for working with international companies.

Postsecondary Education

A bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement for product management directors. Some employers prefer to hire product management directors who hold a master's degree. Degrees may be in business, marketing, or a related field. Coursework usually includes business, management, marketing, economics, statistics, public relations, advertising, and communications. Some product management directors may have a degree in engineering, information technology, or other more technical fields.  

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Product management directors may receive voluntary certification to expand their knowledge and show companies they have achieved a high level of professionalism in their career. The Product Development and Management Association offers the New Product Development Professional (NPDP) designation to product management directors who hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent, have at least two years of professional-level work experience in new product development, and pass the NPDP certification exam. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers the Certified Manager (CM) designation to individuals who meet education and work-experience requirements and who pass three assessment exams.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Product management directors have extensive experience in product management. This is a mid-level to upper level position. Many companies require product management directors have at least 10 years of professional work experience in product management and a master's degree in business, marketing, or a related field. The job requires a combination of skills: business and management, math, leadership, decision-making, communication, writing, and interpersonal. The ability to pay attention to details amid the myriad of tasks is essential for making sure product timelines are followed and standards are maintained. Active listening skills are also important for clearly understanding what product management team members are sharing and helping them to tackle any challenges or problems that arise. Knowing how to keep employees motivated is important in this profession. In addition, knowledge of the product, its industry, and its competitors is required.