Which companies employ entry-level product managers?

The product manager

Tasks | Career prospects | Salary | Current jobs

The job as a product manager is

  • diversified
  • challenging
  • well paid
  • in demand in many industries
  • a good basis for advancing to a management position

Tasks as product manager

  • Observation of the market
  • Tracking trends
  • Development of products
  • Quality control of the products
  • Design and elaboration of new marketing strategies
Annual salary:
40,000 CHF - 199,000 CHF

Depending on

  • Industry & company size
  • existing expertise
  • existing work experience
  • Field of activity

You have the term in the job advertisements product manager and would you like to find out more about this job description? Maybe it is even the right job for you? Here you can find out what a product manager is, what tasks he does and how you can get into the job yourself. We will also show you the annual salary you can expect as a product manager and show you suitable job offers so that you can apply immediately.

Frequently asked questions about the product manager

What is a product manager?The product manager mediates between product development and the marketing department when planning and marketing a product.
What does a product manager do?Creation of competition analyzes and forecasts to identify customer needs, development of marketing campaigns, supplying sales with product information
How do I become a product manager?Studies in economics or technology, professional training in marketing or technology, lateral entry
What does a product manager earn?An annual salary of between CHF 40,000 and CHF 199,000 is possible

What is product management?

= Conception and control of goods or services from product development to marketing on the market

Table of Contents

Product manager: definition

A product manager is at the interface between creativity and marketing in the company. He not only supports the marketing department in developing PR campaigns, but also works on product development. The product manager plays a key role in ensuring that a product is adapted to market requirements.

In order to develop successful marketing strategies for products, the Product Manager conducts competition analyzes. With the help of these analyzes, the manager creates forecasts of how the market and customer needs may develop in the future. Based on this, the product and the associated marketing campaign are designed.

Product managers work in economically oriented companies. With their knowledge of market analysis, they recognize trends in advance and help to optimize a product in terms of its composition and marketing so that the market launch is successful.

As a product manager, you will use methods from market analysis to ensure that the product launch is a success. In your work you mainly ask yourself the following questions:

What is the current competition like in my company's industry?

What will the competition look like in the future?

What needs do my company's customers have?

How do we meet these needs with the latest product?

In order for you to be successful as a product manager, you not only need extensive knowledge of your industry, but also strong analytical and strategic skills. As a product manager, you should, on the one hand, observe current developments at the competing companies, and, on the other hand, also have a good feel for the needs of customers. The results of your analyzes form the basis for future product development and the conception of the marketing campaign.

In some ways, the job of a product manager is similar to that of a controller. As a product manager, you will observe the market and make forecasts that will influence the future work of the company. For you, however, the focus is on marketing products, not overall business strategy.

You will also work as a product manager on the development of the product. You are also involved in quality management, because the product should convince customers with its quality. At the same time, you plan how marketing and sales can most effectively convince potential customers of the benefits of the product.

Before a new product is launched, you as product manager coordinate advertising campaigns with the marketing team. Based on your market research results, these ads will be adjusted so that the target audience will respond positively. Various media can be used in the campaigns, for example poster advertising, video clips or radio advertising.

Since product managers work with several departments of the company, they have to coordinate the work processes of the departments and act as mediators. This requires a great deal of effort in coordination, which is often associated with changeable working hours.

However, working as a product manager also offers an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your own creativity and strategic mindset. With these skills, product managers make an important contribution to the growth of a company.

Product manager: requirements

If you want to become a product manager, you should definitely be able to handle stress. Good organization, analytical thinking and creativity are required here. As a product manager or junior product manager, you must also have the necessary professional skills. The following aspects are helpful in a career as a product manager:

  • Experience in marketing, controlling or product development
  • Economics or law studies or training in technology or marketing
  • Good English knowledge
  • International experience

Your skills

Product manager: Apprenticeship & studies

There is no specific professional training to become a product manager or junior product manager. In fact, only lateral entrants work in this profession.

However, there are special courses in product management that can help you get started as a product manager. Some of these courses have specific content focuses, e. B. sustainability, fashion or technology.

Here you can find a list of all product management courses that are offered in Germany:

Alternatively, an economics degree offers a good basis for acquiring knowledge in marketing, law and finance. Knowledge of technical subjects is helpful when it comes to product development. These courses are also suitable for prospective product managers (selection):

  • Business Administration Studies
  • marketing
  • International business
  • Business administration
  • engineering
  • Computer science
  • industrial engineering
  • Product design
  • business Informatics

Economics courses teach you important basics in marketing, management and sales, while technical courses give you specialized knowledge of product development.

Product manager: entry

Basically, you have three options for starting a career:

Graduate (studies / training)

The path to becoming a Product Manager leads in all cases via lateral entry. If you have little work experience, you will first start as a junior product manager in the company. You do not need any special training for this, you will be trained "on the job". With a few years of professional experience, you can take up a position as a product manager. Extensive knowledge in the respective industry is an advantage.

The following skills are welcome for career changers and applicants with relevant work experience:

  • distribution
  • marketing
  • (Project) management
  • Product development
  • Controlling

Helpful soft skills as a product manager

Not only the technical skills play an important role if you are aiming for a career as a product manager or junior product manager. Soft skills are also of particular importance in this profession. The coordination of the work with different departments in the company, which is often very time-consuming and stressful, shouldn't be a problem for you.

If the organization of many different activities and a changeable work flow do not throw you off track, you already have good qualifications to become successful as a product manager or junior product manager. The following soft skills will also be useful to you as a product manager:

  • Interest in new developments
  • A feeling for new trends
  • high motivation
  • Resilience
  • Negotiation security and assertiveness
  • Creativity, ability to think "out of the box"
  • Organizational skills
  • structured work style
  • analytical thinking
  • Understanding of technical relationships
  • A feeling for details
  • Good English knowledge

Product Manager: Industries & Areas

In principle, the job of product manager is not restricted to one industry, because a product can be both a good and a service. Depending on the industry, as a product manager you have to meet different professional requirements. IT skills are a must for software companies, while you need knowledge of the fashion industry for a fashion label.

Companies in the technology sector in particular that strive to develop innovative products have a need for experienced product managers. Technical specialists such as engineers or IT specialists often work as product managers. But other industries in which trends are important, such as fashion or furniture, also offer jobs for product managers. Product managers work in these industries, among others:

If you have completed a degree in one of these areas or have relevant professional experience, you have a good basis to get started as a product manager.

Product manager: The salary

As a product manager or junior product manager, you will perform different tasks depending on the company and industry. This also means that your salary can vary depending on the situation. The size of the company also has an impact on your salary: the larger the company, the greater the earning potential as a product manager. However, working in a smaller company also offers the advantage that you have more opportunities to participate and bear more responsibility.

Your salary as a product manager is not only influenced by the conditions in your company, it also depends on you. For example, your previous professional experience as a product manager plays a role in the calculation of your salary. While junior product managers can expect an annual salary of around 40,000 CHF, as an experienced product manager you earn more with increasing professional experience. Since you as a product manager take on a lot of responsibility and very complex tasks, you have more opportunities with increasing professional experience.

After all, your other qualifications also influence your salary as a product manager. This not only includes your soft skills, especially organizational and analytical skills, but also your professional skills. You have particularly good cards as a specialist in your respective industry.

Career prospects& Career opportunities

further education

Since you work future-oriented as a product manager, regular training is particularly important for you. This is the only way you can keep an eye on the trends in your market and develop products that convince your target group. You can do the advanced training not only in self-study, but also in special workshops and training courses.

If you work as a product manager, you should attend training courses from the company to stay up to date. These include B. Further training in process management, marketing or product development.

In any case, as a product manager, you should be ready to continue your education and keep up to date with the latest developments in your industry.

Promotion opportunities & career prospects

As a product manager, you have attractive career opportunities. In this way, if you are successful, you can advance to a specialized position as a marketing manager, division manager or sales manager. Those who have proven themselves particularly as product managers can also advance to head product management. This position can be a good starting point for advancing to a higher leadership position.

Your career opportunities as a product manager can look like this:

  • Head of Department (Marketing, Sales, Product Development)
  • team leader
  • Head of Product Development

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