Product managers work in many different industries, including consumer products, technology, health care, banking and finance, and entertainment. Employment opportunities vary by industry and can also be affected by economic trends.
Many product managers get their start through internships and entry-level jobs. They may also have prior work experience in fields such as market research, marketing, promotions, public relations, sales, or in design or engineering. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship opportunities. Search for jobs on Web sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and SimplyHired. Also find listings on professional associations' Web sites, such as the Product Development and Management Association and the American Management Association.
Product managers are in highly visible positions in companies. Their successful management of products helps them advance to senior-level management positions in which they handle more complex projects and have more responsibilities. With years of experience, they may become department heads, vice presidents, and top executives. They expand their knowledge and skills by getting certification and going back to school for an advanced degree in business administration, management, marketing, or other fields. Product managers also advance in their careers by increasing their participation in professional associations, such as by becoming board members, teaching workshops, and speaking at industry-related conferences. They also advance by leaving full-time positions to start their own product management consultancies.
Tips for Entry
A part-time job or internship in the product management department of a company is a great way to gain experience while making valuable connections. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding employment and internship opportunities.
Get insights into the field through videos of product managers talking about their careers. For example, watch "What Does a Product Manager Do," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dczveSrsv8, and "Things Nobody Told Me About Being A Product Manager," https://www.mindtheproduct.com/2017/02/things-nobody-told-me-about-being-a-product-manager.
Join a professional association such as the Product Development and Management Association and the American Marketing Association, among others, for access to education, training, and networking opportunities. Many associations offer various levels of membership, including student memberships.
Read blogs by product management professionals to keep up with news and trends in the field. Find a list of product management blogs at this Web site, https://medium.com/product-to-product/50-product-management-blogs-you-should-be-reading-92617b70dc12.