Is a Technical Background Preferred for Product Management?

In this article, Product Gym answers whether you should have a Technical Background for Product Management, and if it's a necessity or not.

Many people who are pursuing a Product Management career believe that having a technical background, such as in Computer Science, is what is preferred for Product Management positions. However, that is very much not the case anymore nowadays. Product Management in the past was viewed as a very technical-oriented job, where those with technical backgrounds prevailed and held an advantage over those who didn’t. Nowadays, the Product Management job is more tailored towards a Business background.

Going for a Product Management job in this day and age is by far a simple pitch contest.

Whoever can grab the attention(s) of the recruiters and pitch themselves forward the most will quickly realize that they’re the most biased when it comes to receiving attention from the recruiters. This effect is accelerating at such a rapid rate that engineers are getting absolutely marginalized and can’t keep up with the rest of the competition in this Product Management job vicinity.

Although many people still view a Technical Background as an impressive feature to display to recruiters, it is not to be confused with holding an advantage over the rest of the competition, nor should it be viewed as a necessity.

There are no bachelors, masters, or MBAs for Product Management. So, since this is the case, then which background do all of these Product Managers originate from? They actually come from all sorts of different backgrounds and majors – from philosophy to computer science and business. So, since people aren’t all being coagulated into a singular major for this role, this is where the pitch idea comes into play. People are pitching themselves forward and as such, they are presenting themselves forward to recruiters, and taking the plunge to secure themselves interviews, and possibly a future career in the Product Management position.

There are even multiple people who have transitioned into becoming a Product Manager through other job backgrounds, such as law and accounting. Sure, having the technical knowledge is a huge plus, especially to highly technical oriented companies such as Google and Facebook, where you’ll be interacting with their engineering team on a day-to-day basis, but as a present basis, having a strong technical background isn’t a necessity anymore.

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