Product management is the practice of strategically driving the development, market launch, and continual support and improvement of a company’s products. Most product professionals spend the majority of their time focused on researching, developing strategy, communicating plans, and coordinating development. They also use data analysis to make decisions.
Students in this track can expect to become competent in the following topics:
- Empathy with end users — EXDM 404: Experience Design; EXDM 422: Experience Needfinding; EXDM 490R, section 13: Experience Design Perspectives on Product Management
- Research and data analysis — EXDM 422: Experience Needfinding; EXDM 423: Experience Insights
- Basic knowledge of the technical side of product creation
- Data synthesis and pattern recognition — EXDM 422: Experience Needfinding; EXDM 423: Experience insights
- Cross-functional communication skills — MCOM 320: Communication in Organizational Settings
- Passion for representing the interest of the user while balancing desires of stakeholders: EXDM 490R, section 13: Experience Design Perspectives on Product Management
- Creative problem solving — EXDM 404: Experience Design
- Ability to translate technical language into layman’s terms for stakeholders and users, and vice versa
- A heightened sense of what makes products successful
- Planning and project management — EXDM 412: Event and Experience Management; EXDM 490R, sec. 13: Experience Design Perspectives on Product Management
In addition to the above, the core competencies should also track the technical and soft skills needed across the product lifecycle.
- Market Opportunity Identification
- Concept Testing
- Feature Prioritization
- Pricing and Packaging Analysis
- Launch Testing
- Marketing Analysis Performance Tracking
- Customer Interview and Journey Mapping
- Buyer Profile and Jobs-to-be-Done Analysis
- Vision and Strategy Communication
- Roadmap Communication Executive Communication
Organizations provide excellent opportunities to network and learn more about the profession from professionals. Most provide greatly reduced student membership rates. They also host conferences that have reduced rates or volunteer opportunities for students. Students are highly encouraged to join at least one of these organizations and attend one of their conferences.
Certifications not only help in professional development, but they are also valued by potential employers. The ExDM department highly recommends working toward certifications that are aligned with a student’s career aspirations. The program actively attempts to integrate certifications or preparation to gain certifications into curriculum whenever possible.
- Design Thinking: From Insights to Viability Certification
To learn more about professional contacts as part of the ExDM mentoring program, get in touch with chief student experience officer Ariadna Mateu.
Career and Internship Placement
Progression within this field often entails moving between different organizations or shifting to management roles with less direct involvement in event planning.
For more information about career opportunities and internships, check the experience design and management career placement profile or contact ExDM career director Noelani Wayas in the Business Career Center.
Graduate Degree Options
Students in this track are highly encouraged to consider graduate school as career preparation option to further their increase competency and technical skills, focusing their studies in the following subjects:
- Data science and business analytics
- Strategic digital marketing
- Cloud computing
- Artificial intelligence for leaders
Students interested in graduate school should consider enrolling in EXDM 585R: Experience Design Research Seminar. Students can also reach out to Patti Freeman, who teaches the research seminar course, if they have questions about graduate school opportunities.