How to become a successful product manager: courses that are being taught right now

Published on October 24, 2018

How to become a successful product manager: courses that are being taught right now

    Today it is difficult to imagine a startup or any IT business without a product manager. And as soon as developers and customers found a common language, when there were no product managers?
    As is the case with many leadership positions, this profession is difficult to learn from scratch - it leads to a long career path, the study of many aspects about the industry and the company itself.

    However, this path can be accelerated with the help of professional courses, where the beginner specialist is given every opportunity to become an excellent manager. In this article, we consider the importance of the profession in modern business, current statistics on its relevance in the world, as well as specialized training centers for the training of product managers in Russia and neighboring countries.

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    What does the product manager do and what does it give


    For starters, it's best to explore the very nature of this profession. It would seem that the name itself - product manager , or product manager (from the English product manager) - speaks for itself. But not everything is so obvious: the functions and responsibilities of the product manager overlap with many other specialists responsible for the fate of the product at the design stage (for example, project manager) or its release to the market (product development manager, marketing manager).

    The truth is that a product manager is a manager who is responsible for the success of a product at all its stages. That is, the entire product life cycle, defined by a specific project in a particular company, is a direct area of ​​responsibility of the specialist. It is from its submission that the concept of development, development and active promotion of the product is determined in order to achieve the greatest financial success of the event.

    This is not a complete list of what a product manager should be able to do and execute:

    • Study and analysis of the current state of the market - at this stage the product manager works with existing and popular proposals for similar products and identifies the most correct tactics for developing a new project. That is, it combines all the most appropriate advantages and turns them into important functions of the future product.
    • Building a strategy and product positioning , competitor analysis and creating a product roadmap.
    • Interviews with users and - conducting surveys, questionnaires and detailed research.
    • Discussion of the technical component of the product - here the product manager is in close contact with his team, especially with its technical experts. It is important to identify a basic technical solution that would significantly reduce production and launch costs, and also provide reliable technical support for the product in the future.
    • Control over product development , which includes monitoring the implementation of tasks of developers, designers and testers, maintaining high-quality communication with the customer (or business partners).
    • Care (this is the word most applicable) about the product after its development and release to the market . This is not only a task, but also the personal aspiration of the product manager to know how he is and what stages his next “brainchild” goes through what stages of demand.

    Simply put, the real product manager is considered to be the specialist who knows what the client wants, finds out what the working team is capable of, counts the estimated profit - and implements it into a product that is successful in all respects. Responsibility and a real shine in the eyes when promoting a product are also elements of a mandatory program for a product manager.

    The popularity of the profession of product manager in numbers


    Obviously, a product manager is an important figure in product development and in the IT world as a whole. Nevertheless, even the most interesting and attractive position does not cost anything without a dry, but such necessary statistics. And, fortunately, product managers do not have to complain about the lack of demand.

    According to one of the most popular job search portals in the US, Indeed.com, there are about 18,000 options for this profession. The leaders are the state of California (about 4,500 vacancies) with its eminent Silicon Valley and New York (about 1,700 vacancies).

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    Screenshot of the search for the query “Product manager” (as of 10.22.2018)

    Regarding the situation in the Russian labor market, we will look at the most current data from the hh.ru website: a fairly large number of open vacancies are issued for finding all possible keys with the name of the profession - “product manager”, “product manager” and “product manager” .

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    Screenshot of the search for the query “Product Manager” (as of 10/22/2018)

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    Screenshot of the search for the query “Product manager” (as of 10/22/2018)

    The total result for the Russian Federation is from 1.5 to 2.2 thousand relevant vacancies for each of the requests. The first three places are as follows:

    • Moscow is the undisputed leader : it offers over a thousand options for working on this position.
    • St. Petersburg - about 200 open vacancies
    • Novosibirsk and its region - a little more than 40 active vacancies.

    Belarus and Ukraine also have a considerable number of open vacancies for product managers. The same hh.ru gives statistics - about 100 current vacancies for each of the countries with the traditional largest number of vacancies in the capitals, Minsk and Kiev.

    A few words about the average salary. The obvious fact: as in any managerial position, wages directly depend on experience. The more of it, the higher the probability (without a 100% guarantee) to claim a high salary. Yes, and each individual company with each individual project may offer a different reward to the product manager.

    All for the same fresh data from the sites Indeed.com and hh.ru, experts can definitely count on the following minimum wages:

    • USA - from 75,000 USD (before taxes, “clean” - approximately 50 thousand) per year
    • Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg) - from 70,000 rubles
    • Belarus, Ukraine - from 1000 USD

    According to another interesting study conducted in Silicon Valley, the average annual salary of product managers (over $ 133K) already in many cases exceeds the salary of developers.

    Where to learn to be a cool product manager


    So, at the moment we managed to find out the following: a product manager is one of those positions that is really worth developing on it, and the number of proposals for which is good. However, who exactly can become a product manager?

    There are two ways of development:

    The first is coming to product management after a lot of tested IT professions: a specialist can start as a developer, then try team building, then go to project management or create some kind of own product idea and try to implement it within this framework. the company. This method is very common, because the product manager is a logical continuation of a successful career of an intelligent, having a decent working experience as a specialist.

    Second way- direct training. Everything can begin as a special higher education (project management, management, etc.) and continue in the form of so-called refresher courses that last from two days, in the format of seminars and master classes, up to 2-3 months in the form of full-fledged study days with related theory and practice.

    Which way to choose is the choice for everyone, and everything comes from personal goals, motivation and expressed professional need. Below we will list those centers and courses in which each specialist can improve their skills, gain new knowledge in the subject area and transfer everything to practice.

    Courses for product managers


    There are two main areas of training. Classical training - full-time courses, which include 1-2 lectures a week for a couple of months. Another way to gain knowledge of product management is to take an online course with instructional video lectures and send homework by e-mail to the course manager. Both approaches are convenient in their own way and equally effective.

    Full-time courses:

    • Product Degree (Moscow) is a private center where product management professionals in an accessible and very practical way share their experience on the basis of actually working products. Here they are not engaged in empty talk - here they are “cultivating” sensible specialists who are able to survive in the conditions of the modern market.
    • Binary District (Moscow) is an actively developing company that offers a lot of interesting training courses in IT specialties. For the product line, a one-month course is offered with a consistent deepening into the profession of product manager, as well as a study weekend with a special intensity of training and practice in the main areas of activity of the product manager.
    • CustDev (Moscow) - a team offering various courses to improve product management skills. All training is conducted in very close relation to practical application, therefore all acquired knowledge is realistic and in demand.
    • Growth Academy (Moscow) is one of the most effective short-term master classes devoted to the study and analysis of all areas of activity in the IT structure. Such an intensive will be exactly useful for both novice specialists and experienced product experts.
    • Product Heroes (Moscow) is a group of Moscow enthusiastic professionals who promise to give out unique material that allows you to “train the neural net” and leave the center as a ready product manager. A rather ambitious statement, but the feedback on the course is quite positive. Worth trying!
    • Product Vision (Moscow) is one of the most active teams of professionals who offer various courses with an emphasis on product management and development. Courses are held both in individual groups and for corporate teams who want to brush up on their knowledge. A six-week product management course is one of the highest-quality options for learning all the nuances of a given profession.
    • FRII (Moscow) is a major Moscow educational center that actively trains specialists in the areas of IT, business, investment and venture business. For future product managers there is a three-month course with a large practical base.
    • The Higher School of Business Informatics at HSE (Moscow) offers the most thorough approach to teaching the profession of a product manager. The duration of the course is also impressive - 272 hours of full-time study, which implies a real additional education. The set to the first stream is already closed, but there are places left from January 2019 - you need to have time to record!
    • Projector (Kiev) is one of the most popular portals in Ukraine, where you can choose a variety of courses for the development of IT skills. For product managers there are also several attractive courses for professionals of any level, including a solid annual training program.
    • IT Academy Belhard (Minsk) is one of the largest IT companies in Belarus, which not only develops products, but also organizes a variety of quality courses and trainings in various areas. There are courses for beginners in the field of product management, and for those who want to improve their existing knowledge in the subject area.
    • My Monday (Minsk) is a relatively young, but quite progressive team of enthusiastic professionals who offer different and useful courses for learning a profession from scratch or to refresh knowledge. Duration of courses - from 8 to 12 classes on a convenient schedule for students or working professionals.

    Online courses:

    • Product Star is one of the most popular online recording centers for the most current product management courses. Here you can find offers of distance learning (with live webinars and homework) and full-time courses from professionals, 2 lessons per week for two months (in Moscow). In general, you can choose a course for every taste and budget.
    • Netology is the leading light in the world of online learning in various specialties of the IT environment. For future product managers, a 5-month program is offered here , immersing you in all the subtleties of the product manager’s work. Records are also often organized for shorter intensive courses.
    • The author's course from Oleg Yakubenkova offers a unique in its kind online simulator of learning the practical basics of the product manager specialty. The student gets a job in a virtual company, performs the necessary tasks and thus gains invaluable and quite realistic work experience as a product manager. All lovers of high technology will be interested!

    Conclusion


    In fact, a person becomes a product manager not at the time of training or in the work on any project. This is an ideological state, when all your desires and ideas begin to find intersections with existing knowledge, technical capabilities and the demand for this idea among other people. Therefore, any steps towards self-development are important and extremely useful for any specialist.

    If you had your own personal experience in teaching this profession through any courses or master classes, share your impressions in the comments to our article, we would be interested to know about it!