How To Become A Product Manager In Tech 

Tech companies are constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and striving to develop the next ground-breaking invention. To be successful, the role of a product manager is crucial. They are the ones responsible for transforming ideas into tangible products or services that cater to customer needs and align with the goals of the business. 

As technology continues to advance, the demand for the role is only going to increase. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in product management, this blog will take you through the key steps to follow. 

What is a product manager, and what do they do? 

A product manager is often referred to as the ‘CEO of product’.  They oversee the product’s entire lifecycle from its birth to its market launch and beyond. The duties of the job are multifaceted, but the overall role can be summarised into three key parts:


They’ll find or come up with ideas for new products or features and choose the one that best meets the needs of the end user and the objectives of the company. 


They will define success metrics for the product and build a clear roadmap to outline the vision and aims. 


They will coordinate with all parts of the product development process working closely with designers, engineers, marketers, and sales. They create alignment between departments and ensure all teams are working towards a common goal.  

What skills and qualifications do you need to be a product manager? 

You don’t have to have a traditional tech background or a degree in software development to be a successful product manager. According to a recent survey, 88% started their careers in a different field. 

However, it is not an entry-level job. You’ll need to acquire certain skills before transitioning into the field and not all of them are tech-focused. Below are some key qualities to focus on developing. 

Good business acumen 

You need to be knowledgeable in business metrics and KPIs as a product leader. You must understand how a company works as that will allow you to make informed decisions during the development stage. 


The journey is rarely seamless when developing a new product. You need to be able to solve issues quickly and find effective solutions that optimise processes. 

Interpersonal skills

You’ll be liaising with multiple stakeholders and interacting with different departments daily. You need to be an excellent communicator who can present information clearly and collaborate effectively. 

Analytical skills 

A key part of this role is researching and analysing data to understand the market and user needs. This must be done to a high standard as the findings will directly impact how the product is developed and marketed. 

6 steps to becoming a product manager 

Research and build up your knowledge 

Choosing to get into product management is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The job requires a lot of time and energy and while the work is rewarding, it can be very intense. To figure out if it’s right for you, find out as much as you can about the position. Research the experiences of product managers, read autobiographies, watch online interviews, and attend tech conferences. 

If you feel that you are the right fit for the role, the next stage of research would be to expand your knowledge and learn the fundamentals of product management. Use blogs, podcasts, free online courses and books to get familiar with key terminology and concepts such as e.g. the product life cycle, product development process, fundamental product management principles, and product roadmaps. 

Ensure you are tailoring your research to the line of business and industry you’re interested in, too. Product management is more than simply knowing how to create a product, you need to know the market inside and out to understand what makes a product successful. 

Get certified 

Being in charge of the entire life cycle of a product from ideation to launch comes with a lot of responsibility. Gaining a certification from a credible recognised institution will give you the expertise needed to carry out all the duties of the job.  

A certified course will provide you with a structured learning path and teach you everything you need to know about the product development process including how to analyse competitors, carry out A/B tests, use UX design and develop a go-to-market strategy. 

Get experience 

Hands-on experience is the best way to apply the theory you learn from your course to real life. You’ll not only consolidate your tech skills but also practise and further improve key soft skills such as communication, leadership and problem-solving. 

Reach out to your product management team at work and ask if you can observe a current project, join communities on Slack such as the Mind The Product, The Product Folks, and Product Buds, or attend product management events and socials in your local area. 

You could also connect with a small tech startup and ask if their product management team needs any assistance or start your own side hustle. This will enable you to practice key steps such as writing scenarios, building prototypes, performing user testing and analytics, etc. 

Create a portfolio

Design a portfolio that includes the courses you’ve taken, the products you’ve worked on, and any other relevant experience demonstrating your ability to be an effective product manager. 

Make sure you emphasise your strongest attributes, whether that’s your experience as a successful leader, a qualification in UX design, your background in advanced coding, or your role in a recent startup project. Explain what you did, the obstacles you faced, the solutions you found, and what you’ve learnt from it. 

Apply for your first product manager job 

Now that you have the skills, qualifications, experience and portfolio, it’s time to put yourself in the sights of potential employers. 

Tailor your CV to product management roles highlighting the most relevant qualities and skills you have. In cover letters, draw connections between your previous experience with the skills in job descriptions. This is particularly important if you’re coming from an unrelated field as you need to show employers that although you’re new to the industry, you have the right transferable skills. 

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. 

Getting into product management can be a challenge but the excitement and fulfilment that comes from the work is 100% worth the grind. Seeing millions all over the world use a product you helped develop is a feeling you can’t get anywhere else. 

Follow the right steps, stay disciplined and constantly remind yourself of why you want the job. Your motivation and hard work will lead you to success.

Considering a career in project management? We work alongside exciting tech startups and scaleups across the US and Europe. You can search all our vacancies here, or get in touch with the team here.  

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