How to Get into Product Management as a Recent College Graduate

how to get into product management

Many students are aspiring Product Managers. However, getting into Product Manager is difficult right after college as it requires juggling different skills, from business to technical skills. Learning how to get into product management as a recent graduate is tough, especially given the competitive environment for the role.

Colleges do not offer courses that directly teach product management which only makes it harder to learn more about. What students or grads usually have to do if they want to work as a Product Manager is to take the first step themselves. Here are the steps you can take to develop the skillset you need to start applying for Product Manager jobs seriously as a new grad.

How to Get into Product Management: Coding

Students need to develop certain skills while in college in order to prepare themselves for a PM role. One important skill to have as a student wondering how to get into product management is coding.

You can take online coding classes or other coding education opportunities in order to build your coding skills. Then you can practice making your own website or app. If a Product Manager understands how coding works, they can form a better understanding of how engineers work. With this, they can set accurate estimations for deadlines and expectations.

Product Manager Skills: UX Design

UX Design is another important skill to learn in order to set yourself up for how to get into product management. One way to practice this is by critiquing products online. You could even start a blog focused on your critiques so you can spread your online presence. Ask yourself: why did this product fail in certain aspects? How can you improve it? Figure out who might buy this product and their thoughts while buying this product. 

Get into Product Management with Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are also a great skill to develop while in college. Get more involved in group projects. Mediate ideas, organize deadlines, and set goals to practice. You might even start a club — or join one and obtain a leadership role. By managing groups of people, you can gain first-hand experience with leadership and learn how to inspire and motivate people. Developing leadership skills will help you inspire and lead your team efficiently.

Build Your Market Knowledge

Stay up to date on trends that are happening currently in the world. Understand the market and adapt to it because the market won’t change for you. This may help you develop more insights into how a product should be built according to user behavior. Some useful ways to keep up to date on the market are blogs and newsletters. Or search through tech news.

How to Get into Product Management: Know the Hiring Process

Building your skillset is important, but you also need to get yourself ready for the interviews. There are many skills that product managers will need to have, but you will not be able to master all of them. Product managers have their own strengths and weaknesses and you don’t need to excel in everything to be a great Product Manager.

Interviews for Product Managers are not your usual interviews. There are usually four rounds before you can get the actual offer, with different types of questions leading each round. This lengthy process only makes it harder to get the role. That’s where Product Gym comes in.

Getting people jobs in product management is our bread and butter: that makes us very good at assessing where you’re at in your job hunt and equipping you with the knowledge and skills you need to kickstart your dream career in product management.

If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of Product Manager skills and job search tactics, get in touch with us! We’re offering free career coaching sessions with our in-house team of PM Recruiter experts. We’d love to hear from you.

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