Product Manager – Find Out More About This Role

Many students in Computer Science and Engineering get interested in a role called Product Manager at some point in their time at Tufts. Often, it’s either because they find they don’t want to program or design for a living, or because through club or project experience they realize they like the management piece of any project better than the product piece. But many times students don’t exactly know what a Product Manager does or how to get there. In setting out to answer to these questions, I realized there is a lot written about this subject. Below please find information on the 3 most typical questions.

  1. What is a product manager and what are the qualities of a good one?
  2. What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Project Manager?
  3. Are there companies that hire entry-level product managers?

What is a Product Manager?

What Exactly is a Product Manager? — This article by Martin Erikkson is a quick read with a useful Venn diagram (with copyright) to describe the job of product manager.

What Does a Product Manager Do? — This is the Indeed write-up on the job of Product Manager.  It is included here both because it has good information (salary info is for experienced employees) and that it reminds you that Indeed does a series of write-ups on various job titles.

What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager — This is an excellent Harvard Business Review article (HBR limits the number of articles you can read for free) that talks about the core competencies needed by a good PM and also 3 models of how a product manager and engineering teams work together in companies and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

What is the difference between a Project Manager and a Product Manager?

Product Manager vs. Project Manager — A great article by Kelly Vega in DPM (Digital Project Management).  Worth reading and maybe it will get you to subscribe as well.

The Product Manager vs. Project Manager (again!) — Basically a blog post from a Product Manager who was glad that the Project Manager was also at the product pitch meeting.  Makes it easy to see there is a difference in roles.

The Difference Between Product and Project Management — Another quick article that outlines the responsibilities of the Product Manager and Project Manager.

Companies that hire PMs at the entry-level

From Article in Quora – Which Technology Companies Are Hiring Entry-Level Project Managers?

  • Google (Associate Product Manager)
  • Microsoft (Program Manager)
  • Facebook (Product Manager)
  • Zynga (Product Manager)
  • Amazon (Technical Program Manager
  • Dropbox (Product Manager, their website doesn’t specify if you need experience
  • Yelp (Product Manager)
  • Yahoo! (Associate Product Manager)
  • Quora (Product Designer, it looks similar to PM)
  • LinkedIn (Associate Product Manager, seems like LinkedIn wants 1-2 years of experience but it’s still somewhat for new grads)
  • Intuit (Rotational program: Product Management & Marketing (PMM))
  • Ebay (Product Manager)
By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services Robin Kahan