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Top Trends in Product Management to Watch

Five years ago, the role of the product manager was unclear. Some companies conflated product managers with project managers, while others treated them as a liaison to the engineering team. As time has gone by, product managers have clearly defined their roles within organizations, stepping up as leaders in executing product vision and strategy while driving revenue for the business. 

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While most other jobs have increased in demand by a steady 6.6% in the last two years, product manager roles have increased by 32%. Additionally, product managers make an average salary of $108,000 according to Glassdoor

If the availability of jobs and the promise of a good income make this field sound appealing to you, check out these top trends in product management so you can stay informed.

Product Managers Emerging as Leaders in Strategy

Product managers form product roadmaps, gather feedback from key stakeholders, analyze data in order to make informed decisions, and act as a bridge between teams. 

With so many touchpoints in the product, it’s only natural that product managers have become strategic leaders in their organizations. Product managers now not only impact the product that they work on, but also the overall direction and strategy of the company as a whole.

Options for Career Growth are Increasing

Product managers are no longer just the leaders of a small team in a tech company. Companies are now looking to bring those with product management experience on to the executive team. In late 2019, there were more than 1,000 job openings for Chief Product Officers, more than half of which were posted within the last month. 

As product manager roles become more popular and vital to organizations, new junior, senior, and executive levels will open up, providing a clear ladder for product manager career growth.

Drive Experimentation and Unearth Consumer Insights

When product managers first started to appear on the tech scene, spending time on product experimentation was mostly wishful thinking. Now, it’s a core part of the job. 

Conducting customer interviews to gain product feedback after trying something new is one of the best ways to get results after an experiment. According to Product Management Insider, 69% of product managers conduct customer interviews, which is a 10% increase over the last two years.

Establishing A New Kind of Product Manager

Clearly, product managers have displayed their worth to the companies they are at. So much so, that a whole new branch of product managers has begun to form: the growth product manager. 

While a growth product manager shares many of the same skills and traits as a core product manager — like data analysis and experimentation — they focus on growing the business instead of a product. 

Growth product managers form hypotheses about how to find new users, run experiments, and then analyze the data in order to make adjustments to increase their success. Most growth product managers focus on user acquisition, conversion, and expansion. 

It’s Time to Become a Product Manager 

The time has never been better to get involved in the world of product management. Enroll in our new Product Management Nanodegree program to get the skills you need to keep pace with one of today’s hottest careers.

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.