Do you have a passion for product development, an in-depth understanding of the product lifecycle, and possess strong leadership skills? Then a career as a Product Manager could be suited for you.
Product Managers play a crucial role in being the leader of the vision, planning, design, execution, and optimization of established and new products. They oversee product development from conceptualization to its implementation and distribution.
To become a product manager, you usually need a university degree in business, product management or a related field to work in this role. Additional professional certifications are an advantage.
Are you planning a career in product management? Read this blog to explore the product manager's duties, skills and experience, average salary, the best available product management training courses, career paths, and the steps to become one.
1. What Is A Product Manager?
Product Management is the process of taking an idea of a new product or service to market. Product Managers play a vital role in product launch, development, and company success.
They have skills across analytics, management, leadership, and creative fields that help them drive every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from concept to sales.
2. Product Manager Skills
Do you want to know what it takes to be a good product manager?
A product manager must master hard and soft skills due to his multi-faceted role involving product lifecycle management, product optimization, data analysis, stakeholder management, and more.
Below are the most desirable skills for a product manager:
Customer research skills
Ability to identify market opportunities
Able to carry out road mapping, and product modelling
Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and specialized software that is used within the field
Solid understanding of the company's finances
Familiarity with different stages of product development
Solid leadership skills
Proficiency in oral and written communication abilities
Able to work to deadlines
Great attitude when working with other managers and in a team
Strong business acumen
Good interpersonal skills to build and nurture meaningful business relationships with clients, and vendors
Curiosity to come up with new product marketing ideas and solutions.
Able to make intelligent decisions that positively impact the company
Good Commercial awareness concerning the company's target market, market demographics, major product features, sales statistics, and value propositions
Analytical skills to develop sound product plans and pricing outlooks
Project management and coordination skills
Creative Problem-solving skills
Strong presentation skills to make concise and engaging presentations.
Good collaborative and motivational skills to lead a team and liaise with investors and other shareholders.
Cool-headed and able to work under pressure
3. What Does A Product Manager Do?
The core responsibilities of a Product Manager include:
Research customer requirements
Articulate the product vision and create a product roadmap
Create budgets, gauge costs, and form financial performance reports
Define targets and objectives to fulfil consumer’s demand
Oversee each stage involved in the product life cycle, such as creation, delivery, and distribution.
Liaise between diverse teams across various departments to ensure the product is customer-centric and fulfils deadlines
Supervise the production of products and ensure that strict safety standards are followed.
Develop and launch a product distribution plan
Ensure newly developed products are customer-driven and in line with the companoes revenue goals.
Oversee the budget for the project
Leading a cross-functional team comprising researchers, engineers, salespeople, designers, and marketers
Discuss with business stakeholders to understand potential drivers for the product
Create profitable products that fulfil the distinctive needs of consumers
Take stock of inventory, and order new supplies whenever required
Recruit, manage and oversee members of the product development team
Delegate tasks to team members and review staff performance
Train existing and new production workers concerning rules and use of specific technology and equipment.
Manage expenses incurred on product management and create performance reports regularly
Develop training materials, sales strategies, and effective product plans to boost overall sales
4. What To Study To Become A Product Manager?
To become a Product Manager, you need a formal qualification, such as a university degree in business, business management, product design, or a related field is generally required to enter this role.
Additionally, you should complete a product management certification or short course to develop relevant practical skills like leadership. Most companies look for candidates with 10 to 15 years' experience. Proven managerial experience in a related role is desirable.
5. Steps To Become A Product Manager In Australia
If you are interested in the work profile and want to pursue this profession, then here is the roadmap to becoming a product manager:
Step 1: Earn A Product Management Degree
Complete a four-year bachelor's degree in business, business administration, or marketing.
It will give you the knowledge and skills to conceptualize, identify market segments, and build and promote consumer products in various industries.
Step 2: Complete A Product Manager Course
A product manager must have a good knowledge of technology, business, and user experience. The most effective way to learn product management fundamentals and technical skills is to do a Product Manager course.
You gain a deep understanding of your customer base and marketplace, the entire product lifecycle, usability testing, UX design, software development lifecycle methodologies, your business goals and more in a structured learning environment.
A good product management certification course develops your technical skills and the high-level thinking to identify user needs and market opportunities.
After completing the course, you would have the confidence to oversee the entire product lifecycle, create a distribution plan, and manage diverse teams.
Step 3: Work On Your Soft Skills
Like technical skills, social skills are equally necessary to work in a product manager role. You must demonstrate strong communication, leadership, and storytelling/presentation skills to communicate ideas concisely and effectively to external teams and stakeholders.
Consider taking soft skills courses that can refine your soft skills and give you a competitive edge over your competitors.
Step 4: Gain Relevant Work Experience
The world's biggest companies like Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Facebook, hire product managers every year to manage their vast range of projects.
If you aim for these big firms and want to know how to become a product manager at Google, you need a good amount of experience in product management that sets you apart from the intense competition.
So, after completing relevant certification courses, look for on-the-job training opportunities with local companies. Working under a senior product manager with years of experience in product development will acquaint you with the product manager's duties.
It will help you understand market regulations, consumer needs and purchase behaviour, and essential skills to perform the job.
Step 5: Create A Portfolio
The next step is creating a portfolio to show your talents to potential employers. Include all that you have practised on your own, products you have worked on with a team, and relevant work experience from your previous jobs.
Ensure your portfolio focuses on the projects that emphasize your contributions, best qualities, obstacles faced, and the solutions you have innovated to overcome them – whether in UX design, coding in multiple programming languages, or successfully managing diverse teams.
Step 6: Do Networking
Attend conferences, meetups, and mixers to network with product management professionals. It could present you with opportunities for professional development or employment and stay updated with the industry news and trends.
Create accounts on social media and online job portals like LinkedIn and Indeed Jobs Board to expand your professional network and find new job openings.
Step 7: Apply For Product Manager Roles
Having graduated and gained basic job skills, begin looking for entry-level product manager roles such as junior-level product designer and associate product manager. Working in these roles may pave the path to progressive opportunities in a managerial position.
Create or update your resume to include your abilities, work history, and competencies. Also, write a cover letter that highlights your skills, experience, and expertise and what makes you the ideal candidate for the role.
6. How Much Do Product Managers Earn In Australia?
The average product manager’s salary in Australia is AU$87,789 per year or AU$27.43 per hour.
The factors determining the salary include employer, size and location of the business and years of work experience.
Many Product managers work in the tech capitals of Australia – Sydney and Melbourne.
Product Manager Salary Based on Experience:
Entry-level Product Managers (< 1-year experience): AU$70,385
Early career Product Managers (1-4 years of experience): AU$80,587
Mid-career Product Managers (5-9 years of experience): AU$92,625
Experienced Product Managers (10-19 years of experience): AU$104,740
Top Paying Australian Cities For Product Managers:
Canberra ACT: $257,970 per year
Sydney Central Business District NSW: $146,926 per year
Macquarie Park NSW: $133,812 per year
Parramatta NSW: $133,125 per year
Brisbane QLD: $130,086 per year
Sydney NSW: $127,956 per year
Melbourne VIC: $114,742 per year
7. Is It Hard To Become A Product Manager?
To become a successful manager, you must complete a relevant degree, apply for a junior role to gain industrial exposure, and work towards opportunities to achieve a product manager position.
Thus, becoming a product manager may take several years of determination and consistent efforts. However, if you are passionate about product development and learning more about this industry, you won’t have a hard time realizing your career goals.
8. How To Become A Product Manager Without Experience?
Many product managers start their careers with no product management experience. Some come from diverse qualifications and a range of professional backgrounds. In other words, you can become a Product Manager without prior experience in product management.
However, many employers prefer candidates with relevant qualifications and industry experience. You will need to showcase related job skills and education to secure a Product Manager position.
Getting an informal experience can help you acquire soft skills and specific technical skills to make a solid start in this profession. Consider Volunteering with local social enterprises or startups within your city.
Next, with pre-existing experience, pursue a certified online course that specializes in product management. These courses cover the basics and give you an overview and up-to-date information about the industry.
It will help you become capable of working on various product management challenges such as assessing market conditions, finding opportunities, understanding the product users’ interests, and developing a business plan.
By learning the technical competencies related to the product development process, you can develop small projects on your own and add them to your portfolio.
9. Job Outlook For Product Managers In Australia
Product Management is a thriving field bridging the worlds of business, technology, and design. Product managers are critical to a products and a business’ success.
They occupy a position within organizations to build and deliver higher-performing and well-designed products and ensure the voice of the market is heard.
The product manager is among the highest-paid professions in the tech industry, also one in short supply in Australia. The demand and average salary for qualified Product managers have grown exponentially over the past few years.
Thus, if you want to capitalize on these opportunities and future-proof your career, you should consider learning Product Management.
10. Top Places To Find Work As A Prodcut Manager
Though you can find Product manager jobs virtually anywhere, some of the top recruiters for this position are:
Southern Cross Austereo (among the largest media companies in Australia)
Xero (Cloud-based accounting software platform)
Freelancer.com (hires both Product Manager and Junior Product Manager)
Atlassian (Enterprise software company that develops software like Jira and Trello)
Canva (a fast-growing start-up in Australia)
Yahoo7 (Australia’s largest TV network and among the world’s largest tech firms)
Oneflare (an Australian digital marketplace that connects businesses and customers)
Finder.com.au (the largest comparison site in Australia)
11. Product Manager Courses In Australia
A career in product management requires investing years in education and skill development.
Receiving formal training through professionally structured courses or informal learning via resource centres and blogs can help you develop/refine your skill set.
We have prepared a list of courses that can boost your chances of job success:
Product Management courses are available in 3 online formats:
TRANSFORM courses – 24-weeks part-time
ELEVATE courses - 24-weeks part-time or Self-paced
FOUNDATIONS courses - Self-paced
Partnered with Credly, this Sydney-based institute provides digital credentials to all its course graduates.
Brainmates is a Melbourne-based training institute that offers a 3-day intensive course that teaches the basics of product management.
The interactive and in-depth course is ideal for beginners who want to create a solid foundation in this field and refine their product management skills.
Hosted by an industry professional, this course is for beginner-level students with varying professional experiences.
Learn essential tools and concepts behind the end-to-end Prodcut Management process, and get hands-on experience to solve real-world problems for users.
It is an eight weeks (5-8 hours per week) course that teaches the fundamentals of Product Management to prepare students to deliver desirable and commercially feasible digital products.
This 6-hour Online course facilitates a smooth transition from your current role to a product management role. By taking the course, you will learn:
Different types of product management roles
The attributes of great product managers
About the phases of the product lifecycle
How to translate an idea into a product strategy and time-tested strategies to take your product to market
How to test a product idea with customers
How to draft a perfect product manager resume and tips to crack a product management interview
12. What is the Product Manager’s Career Path?
When having accumulated junior product management experience, the following could be a career path for you:
Associate Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
Director of Product
Vice President of Product
Chief Product Officer and beyond
13. What Tools Do Product Managers Use?
Product Managers manage the development of a product within an organisation.
They develop new products, conduct market research, analyze consumer buying behaviour, set product release budgets, build project concepts, monitor manufacturing, approve product labelling designs and coordinate with marketing teams to develop promotional materials.
The following tools make up the product manager’s toolkit to help them perform in their role:
Product Road Mapping Tools
Used to develop, communicate, and follow the route to market product delivery. These tools have in-built features for visualization to build flexible roadmaps to share across the team.
Used to lay out a clear product plan for how the process will work out.
Product Research Tools
Eases the understanding of the market, and user testing.
To develop product blueprints and prototypes and facilitate their fast development.
Analytics And Measurement Tools
It helps generate feedback on the user experience, including bug fixes and the effectiveness of new features.
These tools track users’ behavior on their websites or software and collect data based on the user experience:
UI, UX, and Design Tools
Helps develop a user-friendly and beautiful product.
Project Tracking and Management Tools
It helps stick to the roadmap by helping track different tasks and their current statuses.
The tools also monitor issues for resolution and share information across team members.
Helps run a team of people spread across multiple departments and locations.
Slack and Confluence for team messaging
Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive, for file sharing
Keynote or PowerPoint to deliver ideas to team members, and stakeholders
A career as a Product Manager is lucrative, challenging, and fast developing.
It is perfect for those who enjoy work that requires a mix of strategy, creativity, leadership, design, and more.
Understanding the customer pain points and developing innovative solutions is highly satisfying. If you feel this profession suits your career objectives, follow this career guide, and take the first steps toward a fulfilling career in product management.
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