how to become a product manager (2024 Guide)

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Product Manager?

BrainStation’s Product Manager career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in product management. Read on for an overview of whether you need a degree to become a Product Manager, as well as other educational requirements for product management.

Become a Product Manager

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No, you do not need a degree to be a Product Manager – there is, in fact, no specific educational background that leads to becoming a Product Manager – but you do need the right hard and soft skills to be considered for a role in product management.

What Background Do You Need to Be a Product Manager?

Product Managers come from a variety of backgrounds, including communications, marketing, and engineering, among others. Rather than getting the “correct” degree right out of the gate, Product Managers build up their level of instruction over time by following a strategic plan for continuing education, as a matter of necessity. In a survey of 2,500 Product Managers, 71 percent of respondents said they held at least one professional product management certification in addition to an undergrad degree, while 76 percent considered continuing education somewhat or very important to their career trajectory.

In other words, no school can mint a fully formed Product Manager—instead, the role is more of a self-directed path guided by continuous learning in the many areas Product Managers oversee. And there’s a good reason for this: the best Product Managers often have to know more about their industry than anybody else in the company. On top of that, they need to be able to speak the language of Developers, Engineers, Designers, Marketers, and more.