If you want to buy a car, whom do you consult? Other than family and friends of course.
You go to a car showroom and talk to a salesperson. You ask questions about the price, driving performance, engine life, etc.
So, if you want to learn about product management (salaries, workload, good& bad aspects of the job and its future), you should probably talk to a real product manager, right?
Don’t worry. You don’t have to chase PMs over LinkedIn by yourself, I gathered the information for you.
🔷 Is There a Demand for Product Managers?
🔷 What Does The Future Hold for Product Management?
🔷 Why is Product Management a Good Career?
🔷 Product Management Isn’t All Great, Though
Is There a Demand for Product Managers?
Yes, there is. But in order to understand why product management is becoming more popular on job listings, we should understand the change in growth strategies of companies first.
Companies employ various strategies to increase their sell rates and revenues.
While some prefer sales-led growth models and allocate more budget to sales teams, others still believe in the power of ads and prefer marketing-led growth models.
Yet, both strategies involve a sizable – and constant – budgetary expenditure💸💸
So, more and more companies switch to product-led growth models (PLG), especially in the SaaS industry, as they ensure lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) and accelerated growth.
- 34% more SaaS companies employed PLG in 2021 compared to 2020.
- According to Product Plan’s 2022 report, the product experience was the most popular answer (40%) for important factors in the customer acquisition process.
Now we know that product is important and product-led strategies are on the rise. How about product managers? Here are some stats 👇
- According to a Wall Street Journal article published in 2016, 7% of Harvard Business School graduates pursue a career in product management. Although the percentage might seem low, we shouldn’t forget these people are the best of the best, and they set the trends for others.
- In the last five years, interest in product management hasdoubled in the USA.
- Product management is in the top 10 on Glassdoor’s list of America’s 50 best jobs (2022).
- Technology companies take the lead in product management with a 51%recruitment rate.
- Although we see a little rise in the last years, unemployment rates for product managers are pretty low.
So my friends, the demand for product managers is going up, up, up 📈
What does the future hold for product management?
Time passes, and trends change.
Indeed, some jobs will disappear eventually, but product managers say ”Not today!”.
There are many reasons why product management has a bright future:
#1: Ever-changing market and customer needs
As long as we live, technology will evolve, and users’ needs will continue to change.
Especially in the SaaS industry, It is very important to be flexible. If a company cannot update its product vision and/or product strategy over time, it may encounter major problems.
Product teams ensure that the product goals are met and the product roadmap is updated. Therefore, they take upon a very crucial task for the company.
#2: Human-machine collaboration is a must
Although some say AI will hunt down each and every human job, I do not see any reason why this should be the case.
Machinery brings us closer to perfection, but we humans love sincerity and soulful personal touches.
We certainly will work closely with technology and AI, but it doesn’t mean product manager roles will disappear. People skills are still important.
#3: Digital transformation
Digital transformation isn’t done yet. And successful product managers are at the wheel. PMs and product teams are the visionaries that unlock transformation.
#4: A career in product management opens different paths
Aside from product management roles such as associate or senior product manager, many other career paths sprout from product management. 👇
#5: C-suites become ”Product Suites”
According to Product School’s report, many companies (16%) are led by CEOs with product backgrounds, and even more (31%) have official Chief Product Officers (CPO) in their executive teams.
👉 %55 of companies plan to invest more and do organizational updates around their product teams. These plans include recruiting more PMs, allocating more budget to product teams, and giving product leaders more autonomy.
Where and How Will We See Product Managers In The Future?
- As the technology and SaaS industries get bigger and bigger, we will still see the majority of product managers in these industries in the future.
- Soft skills will still be important, but product management is becoming more of a technical field with data analysis and software engineering. So, PMs of technical backgrounds such as IT and engineering will be very welcome.
Here are the pros and cons of product management.
Why is Product Management a Good Career?
Companies are turning to product-oriented strategies more and more, new job opportunities are emerging, and everyone’s looking for skilled PMs everywhere. You won’t be unemployed for a long period of time, okay. But what more? What makes product management a good career?
➕ Job Satisfaction
Emrah says you’re free to create your own agenda as a PM. You have influence over your teammates. You can manage expectations.
‘‘You are free to steer the path of the product anywhere you see fit, to the natural limitations of the product or the business, of course.”
It’s also very rewarding to be the decision maker. But of course, it means having business acumen and constant questioning of circumstances.
➕ Career Growth Opportunities
Product management is open to people from different backgrounds, and it also equips product people with various skills (technical skills, leadership skills, analytical skills, etc.) and allows them to follow different paths in tech, UX, or business.
So you can always try different work areas within product management and specialize in the one you like most.
Although PMs often collaborate with other teams too (engineering teams, development teams, design teams, marketing teams, etc), day-to-day, they work with the product team.
Together they handle product launches, update product backlog, decide on product features and market strategy.
The peace of having a team behind you must be amazing.
➕ Average Salary
It is not difficult to guess that a profession that has become so popular and needed in recent years makes good money.
Here is the salary range for product managers (1-3 years experience) in the USA 👇
While the average salary of PMs with 0-1 year of experience is $79,106 per year, within 5 years, it can rise up to $98,138 per year, according to Glassdoor’s data.
Product Management Isn’t All Great, Though
Unfortunately, everything is not perfect, no matter how much we want them to be.
Product management has its drawbacks too.
➖ Job Description and Responsibilities
Although product management jobs are quite popular lately, product management doesn’t actually go that far back, which means the job description and limits of liability aren’t settled yet.
Even the titles vary from company to company sometimes.
➖ Further/Deeper Knowledge in Very Specific Areas
When you’re the head of a product, you need to work closely with all teams, most of which rely on you in decision-making.
The product designer relies on you for product design, the development team looks to you for fulfilling development goals, the marketing team asks for user feedback data/analysis…
Emrah says that people expect you to know a lot about very specific subjects, especially when you’re not ready for it.
➖ Readings, Follow-Ups, Courses…
”Most roles wear different hats, but their core responsibilities are mostly about one aspect of the product: technology, users, or business. But for PMs, all three are core to their roles, and the biggest challenge is to manage and balance them according to the needs of the time and situation.”
As a PM, you need to know what’s important to whom and how to communicate accordingly, as you’re at the intersection of business.
Most of the time, it necessitates further reading and extra effort outside business hours, even additional online courses.
➖ Long Hours and Workload
Although the workload varies according to product team structure – and company size of course – product people work a lot, like a lot.
Emrah says he works approx. 7-9 hours in a day.
Also, product management positions come with high levels of stress. If you are not okay with tight deadlines and pressure, it might not be the best career option for you.
If you want to learn more about the day-to-day responsibilities of a PM, let’s take you here.
The product management career path is not an easy one, there are many factors to consider.
If you have the required skills, product management is an incredibly satisfactory job – both materially and spiritually.
But the stress level is high, and the schedule is jammed, as the whole product life cycle management and product organization rely on you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it difficult to become a product manager?
Yes, it can be. Although the position is open to graduates from different departments, it requires further education and training in the industry you want to work in. But if you’re ready to work on your people skills and technical skills, you do not need to worry about your background. While 72% of product managers have bachelor’s degrees, only 17% have master’s degrees.
Are product managers paid well?
Yes, with $125,317 yearly median salary, product managers are among the top 10 best jobs of 2022 according to Glassdoor.
Are product managers happy?
They are satisfied. According to a survey conducted by Career Explorer, product managers rated their happiness level 3.3 out of 5 stars.
What do you hate about product management?
According to a report, the most hated aspect of product management is internal politics (28%). Other than that, PMs state the lack of resources and unpredictability of liability lines among the aspects they don’t like about product management.