How to become a Product Manager?

16 Nov 2022


The job of Product Manager is becoming increasingly popular in the field of technology and marketing. As the person responsible for the success of a product, the Product Manager guides all stages of production, from its development to its marketing. Discover with IPAG Business School all the facets of the Product Manager job.

What is a Product Manager?

The Product Manager, also known as the product manager, steers the development of a product from the design phase to its launch on the market. Based on customer needs, the Product Manager works with the various marketing, technical and sales teams to develop the best product and offer the best user experience. He or she defines and supervises the product strategy while liaising between the stakeholders.

What is the role of the Product Manager?  

The Product Manager's job involves various tasks to develop and improve a product. The Product Manager must identify, understand and anticipate user needs in order to optimise the added value of the product. He or she will define the long-term strategic vision, create a roadmap and draw up a benchmark to steer the project.

To be supported on a daily basis in the deployment of the strategy, he/she calls on the services of the product teams (developers, UX designers, graphic designers, etc.) but also on cross-functional teams (data analyst, finance, sales, etc.). As a true conductor, the Product Manager coordinates projects in a just-in-time manner.

He/she ensures that the product is constantly evolving, in line with business and technical issues and customer needs. Once the product is launched, the product manager must also deal with user feedback. To obtain feedback, he or she relies on the customer service and sales teams in order to arbitrate and make the necessary improvements to the product.

What are the differences between Product Manager and Product Owner?

Often described as a Swiss Army knife, the Product Manager performs various functions around the product vision that can quickly become confused with those of the Product Owner. However, these web professions do not involve the same responsibilities.

The role of the Product Manager is part of the company's product strategy. He or she is involved from the identification of user needs to the implementation of the solution, including the continuous improvement of the product. He or she cultivates a broad, long-term strategic vision.

The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product. In conjunction with the development teams, he/she is involved in the operational aspect of the product. The other difference is that the Product Owner job only exists when the project development methodology applied in the company is called Agile. The Product Manager role exists in companies adopting a more traditional approach to product development, or as a complement to the Product Owner role in Agile structures. 

What are the skills of a Product Manager? 

The highly versatile job of Product Manager requires many skills and qualities:

  • Technical skills: as the head of a project, he/she must have solid skills in marketing, project management in Agile mode, team management and technical skills
  • Empathy: to build a project that meets the needs of the users, he/she must be able to listen to and understand the customers. The Product Manager has a good knowledge of user experience in order to gather valuable information about the product.
  • Good interpersonal skills: they know how to mobilise the various teams with which they work on a daily basis. Their role as conductor allows them to bring together opinions and ideas with the aim of making the best decisions for the product.
  • Rigour: the Product Manager has a business-oriented vision and always has the objectives in mind in order to successfully implement the product strategy.

What training is required to become a Product Manager?

To become a Product Manager, there are several possible training paths. As with many tech professions, five years of higher education are highly valued.

At IPAG, it is possible to take a BTS or a Bachelor's degree to acquire all the skills in digital marketing, commerce and management. After a bachelor's degree, our master's degree in digital marketing and our online MSc in digital marketing allow future graduates to specialise and develop the managerial and technical skills required for this new digital profession.

The salary of a Product Manager

A junior product manager earns an average of between €35 and €45k. After a few years' experience, this salary rises to around €55k. For a senior profile, the salary can reach 70 to 80 k€. These ranges can vary depending on the size of the company and the scope of the project that the Product Manager manages.

Depending on your profile and experience, various career paths may be open to you. A business school education offers graduates opportunities in various fields of activity such as marketing, communication, international trade or finance.

Are you interested in the new digital professions? IPAG offers various 100% online courses. Discover the MSc Digital Entrepreneur or the course to specialise in luxury management and many other fields. And if you want to learn more about the professional perspectives after studying at IPAG? Check out our article on careers after business school.

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