Before we jump into our consultation survey results, we did a quick Google research to see how people are answering this question. After Googling, “Why do people want to transition into product management?” and “Why is product management so hot?”, we noticed that there is not a single article that answers this question. Thankfully, our survey results, which consist of people who are either new to this field or are seasoned Product Managers will shed some very needed light on this topic.
Here are the top 5 reasons why people want to transition into Product:
1. Gateway Position – One third (or 36% to be specific) of the people we surveyed told us that they consider product management to be a gateway into technology. Since we are headquartered in NYC, most of our participants come from finance, consulting, sales, marketing or business development roles, so they have little to no experience in tech. Most of these people believe that product management could be an excellent opportunity to get more exposure and experience in technology.
If you are also coming from finance and thinking about transitioning into Product, make sure you read this interview, where one of our members with a finance background discusses his experience in his transitioning journey.
2. Big Tech Product Manager – Believe it or not, the desire to make it to a FAANG company is STILL very strong! Most of our consultations involve some sort of discussion around how to get a job or at least an interview at Google or Facebook. The popularity of these companies has surged over the years and getting into them became more like getting into a fraternity or a cult. Regardless of where you end up or where you are currently at, we would like to reiterate the fact that not working for one of these companies doesn’t make you less of a Product Manager. They have limited spots and unfortunately, not everyone could be a part of them.
If you identify yourself as a part of this group, don’t forget to read our blog posts on Google and Facebook PM interviews. Both articles contain previously asked questions and some precious insider tips on how to win their PM interviews:
3. Impact on the Vision and the Direction of the Product – Two-thirds of our participants clearly stated they desire to be a part of the bigger conversations and decisions that go around their company. Since Product Managers are the ones who are responsible for everything (literally, from ideation to release), no better career option helps one to have the biggest impact on the vision and the direction of the product. “What is it that we are going to build?”, “How are we going to build it?”, and “Why are we going to build it?” are the kinds of questions that people want to answer. Thankfully, Product Managers work to find answers to them.
This aspect of product management was also discussed in one of many interviews, where we dive deep into product management with an experienced Product Manager. Be sure to check out this one, where we discuss what makes the ideal Product Manager.
4. Founder – Many people have the dream of becoming a founder one day. Unfortunately, being a founder without the right experience is simply impossible. On top of having an entrepreneurial spirit, one has to have the right experience to understand how to develop a product that the market wants. Product management is a phenomenal career, where you get to become a founder for a product and feature without the responsibility of running a company. Thankfully, 79% of our participants agree with us on this. We believe that having product management experience is far more useful than having an MBA on your path to becoming a founder.
Speaking of MBAs, we have quite a few articles on why getting an MBA is not the only way to making it to product management. If you’re undecided between business school or starting a new job, make sure you read these articles below:
5. Wear Multiple Hats – When you become a product manager, you have to wear multiple hats. You have to consider the product from the perspective of a software engineer, UX/UI designer, QA tester, and business analyst, etc. This profession, unlike most other ones, helps you become a generalist since you have to have the perspective of many other professions to develop an effective product. A whopping 87% of our participants feel the need to have a job where they have the opportunity to wear multiple hats and we cannot think of a better way than transitioning into Product.
Perhaps one other thing that we would like to mention outside of this survey is the fact that product management opens doors to very exciting opportunities as well. Many Product Managers choose to go into the following three paths after they have sufficient experience in their field:
- Move up the ladder: Many product managers advance in their careers to become Senior Product Managers, VP of Product or Head of Product for more responsibility.
- Move into another industry: There is a majority of Product Managers that want to explore a different industry. They are confident about the skills they gained in their previous position and want to learn more about a field that they find more interesting.
- Start their own company: As we discussed above, product management is the perfect opportunity to learn and experience how to drive a product from ideation to release. Many PMs take these experiences to start their venture.