How to become a product manager

By Eileen Jacob

Product managers help companies envision, produce, and market products. They are responsible for every stage from conception to sale. Their role is so essential that they are sometimes referred to as "mini CEOs".

Berkeley MBA alum and VP of Product Max Wesman

The paths to product management can be diverse. Some individuals start on the technical side of things, while others start in customer-facing positions. Some have an MBA, while others do not.

Although everyone takes a different path to get to the role, there are certain qualities that  product managers (PMs) share. For example, the most successful PMs enjoy working as part of a team and know how to communicate effectively with others. They are familiar with a wide swath of business areas and can bring that to bear when creating a viable product.

The best way to find out what a career in product management might look like for you is to seek out insight from experts who fully understand what the role is like, which skills are needed, and what steps should be taken before embarking on this career path.

Wondering how to become a product manager? Download our free ebook for more insights 


In our new ebook, Breaking Into Product Management, three senior product managers identify the unique combination of qualities and preparation needed to become a product manager. They discuss what they did before becoming a product manager, what they do now, and why they love their jobs.

Their insights will help you learn:

  • 6 qualities every PM needs
  • 5 things you can do to prepare for a career in product management
  • Whether or not it helps to have an MBA for product management
  • What you can expect to encounter in a PM role

Want to learn more? Read more blog posts about product managers, or download our free ebook on Breaking Into Product Management for more insights.

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Posted on September 18, 2017
Eileen Jacob
Eileen was Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals from 2017-2019. She enjoyed meeting prospective students and helping them explore the benefits of an MBA, and hopes these blog posts provide valuable insight into the Berkeley MBA experience.