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.
- What is a product manager and what are the qualities of a good one?
- What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Project Manager?
- 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)